Gordon Bailey, founding chef of P.E.I.'s Dayboat restaurant and more recently, Lot 30, came up with this easy appetizer or side dish, perfect for entertaining. Serve warm with slices of French bread or fill baby potatoes and bake for an original holiday hors d'oeuvre.
1 lb. salt cod
2 cups milk
1 clove garlic (crushed)
1 pod star anise
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes (5)
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cups whipping cream
2 cups cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Step 1: Soak fish for 8-10 hours in cold water, changing water 4-5 times
Step 2: Place cod in heavy bottomed pot, cover with milk and add garlic, star anise, 1/4 cup parsley and thyme.
Step 3: Heat to simmer and let flavours blend. Set aside.
Step 4: Peel and slice potatoes. Place in heavy bottomed pot over medium heat with 1 tbsp of olive oil and sweat for 2 minutes.
Step 5: Add cream to potatoes, stirring every few minutes until potatoes have been broken down into a purée (30-45 minutes). Set aside.
Step 6: Remove cod from poaching liquid, discard everything but cod. Flake cod into puréed potatoes stirring constantly. Add remainder of chopped parsley and 1/4 cup olive oil. Mix together. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Step 7: Serve warm with slices of a French baguette. Or for hors d'oeuvres, let brandade cool until it sets and can be handled. Blanche baby or small fingerling potatoes. If using fingerling potatoes cut down to 1"-1-1/2" pieces. If using baby potatoes cut in half, trimming off rounded bottom so they will stay upright when plated. With a melon baller, hollow out a portion of the potato and stuff with the cooled brandade. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 375°F.