Dinner Tonight: Smoked Trout Brandade

[Photograph: Blake Royer]

Traditionally, brandade is made with salt cod, an emulsification of the fish, olive oil, and often potato, milk, or cream, to create a silky, smooth purée. Salt cod is a wonderful ingredient, but one that's a bit of a hassle to use, requiring soaking and planning ahead. This recipe from Food & Wine opts for flaked smoked trout instead, which lends a similar taste and makes for a simpler, quicker preparation.

The result is a decadently creamy concoction that's rich, but sort of perfect as a light meal with a huge salad. The rich, salty flavor means you don't need much of it, and it's as delicious hot as it is warm or at room temperature. Though more often served as an appetizer, turning it into a simple meal turned out to be quite delicious.

About the author: Blake Royer founded The Paupered Chef with Nick Kindelsperger, where he writes about food and occasional travels. After a year in Estonia, he's now living in Chicago.

Dinner Tonight: Smoked Trout Brandade

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About This Recipe

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Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 3 smoked trout fillets (4 to 5 ounces each), skin removed and flesh flaked
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon snipped chives

Procedures

  1. 1

    Cover the potatoes with cold water in a pot and bring to a boil. Boil until tender, drain, and allow to cool slightly before slipping off the skins. Pass the potatoes through a ricer, sieve, or whip until smooth.

  2. 2

    In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a small skillet or saucepan over low heat, then add the garlic cloves. Cook very gently until the garlic has infused the oil and is soft and slightly golden, 5-7 minutes. Transfer the garlic to a small bowl, leaving the oil in the pan, and mash it with a fork. Once the oil has cooled slightly, add the cream.

  3. 3

    Add the mashed garlic and the cream-oil mixture to the potatoes, whisking to combine, then add the trout and salt and pepper to taste.

  4. 4

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Transfer the potato mixture to a shallow dish and bake until hot, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with chives and serve.

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