Fish and seafood Recipes Tapas and appetizers recipes

Cod brandade or bacallà

Cod brandade or bacallà


  • Easy
  • 25 minutes
  • For 4 people
  • € 1.65 / person
  • 278kcal per 100g.

How to prepare brandade of codfish .

Whenever I spend a few days in the Basque Country, I love to enjoy its “ pintxoteo venues , with its bars full of dishes with pintxos of all kinds.

Many of them are made with cod, a product widely used in Basque gastronomy, and among my favorites is the cod brandade .

As  cod is  the main ingredient, it fits perfectly into recipes called “de Cuaresma” or “vigilia”. Depending on the area in which we are located in the Basque Country or Navarra, there are variations in the ingredients and preparation of this fish recipe .

Starting with cod and olive oil as a base, then you can take garlic, onion, potato, milk, cream, etc.

In the Levantine and Catalan area it is called “ brandada de bacallá ”, in Castilla La Mancha there is a well-known dish – the atascaburras – which is quite similar, in the Balearic Islands it includes the artichoke, and already outside of Spain, in France the “ brandade ” it is made with cream.

It is usually presented on a homemade bread toast, either alone or accompanied by roasted peppers, caramelized onion, dried tomatoes, and also covered in cheese with a touch of gratin in the oven. Depending on the region or country we are in, this dish changes slightly ingredients.

I encourage you to try it at home, the end result flies, at home not even breadcrumbs. Even versions such as the Cuenca cod in ajoarriero cream or of course the ajoarriero cod that is delicious as an appetizer.

How to desalinate cod

  1. If we choose the option of a salted cod fillet, we must desalinate it. To do this we must first cut it if it is very large.
  2. Normally for this recipe it would be worth with a thin loin. Even with the cuts that we usually use for scrambled eggs, cold or warm salads or to fill peppers.
  3. To desalt the cod, the piece of fish must be covered in plenty of water. The thick parts will desalt for 48 hours, with water change approximately every 6 hours.
  4. The finer parts will desalinate for 36 hours, with a water change every 8 hours.
  5. The remains and the crumbled cod usually desalt under the cold water tap for 10 minutes, but if you don’t want to spend a lot of water. You can also soak them for 3 hours with a change of water after 1 hour and a half, that is enough.
  6. While the fish is desalting it should remain at a temperature between 6 and 8 º C in the refrigerator, since at room temperature it can ferment.

Preparation of the potato base

  1. We begin by cooking the potato with skin (so that it does not absorb water) in a saucepan with boiling water.
  2. We prick it with a fork to check that it is well made inside, and we reserve it aside so that it becomes tempered.
  3. As soon as we can get our hands on it (without risk of burning ourselves), we remove the skin and cut it into small cubes. We reserve.

Preparation of the cod

  1. In a saucepan with water, submerge the portion of cod loin with the skin facing up. So that a finger of water remains on it.
  2. We put to heat over medium heat until the water begins to boil.
  3. We turn off the heat and remove the cod to a plate. We easily remove the skin and the central spine.
  4. We are shredding the cod flakes and reviewing so that it does not have any thorn or piece of skin. We reserve.
  5. In a saucepan, pour the milk and heat it over low heat. We want it to have some temperature but without boiling at any time.

Preparation of the cod brandade

  1. In a frying pan we pour the 100 ml. of oil and heat over medium heat.
  2. Peel the garlic cloves, give them a little tap to crack them and add the oil.
  3. We let them fry, round and round, until we see that they acquire a golden hue. Then we remove them from the oil and put out the fire.
  4. In a large bowl we toss the crumbled cod and the diced potato. Chop with the mixer on low speed.
  5. We pass the hot milk to a jug and we are throwing it to the bowl, little by little, while we continue crushing. A homogeneous mixture will be formed.

Final presentation of the cod brandade

  1. We taste of salt and if necessary season with salt and pepper. Keep in mind that if you use salted cod, even if you desalinate it, some salt remains. As always, to your liking.
  2. We repeat the process but now with the flavored oil.
  3. We are adding little by little, without stopping to beat, so that it is incorporated into the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Getting a kind of soft cream. If we see that it is too thick, we add a little more milk.

You can see all the step by step photos of the cod brandada recipe  in this album. Do not miss any detail and you will get a yummy brandade

Tips for a fluffy cod brandade

  • This is a dish to consume pulling cold, accompanied by some slices of toasted bread, resulting in the most appetizing toasts. They also combine great roasted peppers, the ones you like the most.
  • You can use salted cod, but this time, to save time and due to the small amount we need (about 500 grams), I recommend buying a piece of loin that has already been desalted.
  • The brandade itself is delicious, but for presentation at the table we can add chopped fresh parsley or black olives also in small pieces.
  • The name of ” brandada ” in Castilian comes from the Catalan verb “brandar”, which means “to balance” or “to trot”. Curiously, both in Catalonia and in Northern Italy (Provence, Liguria) the name coincides. Its possible origin dates back to the 16th century, when dry cod was added to a typical “aioli” sauce in the Basque Country and the Pyrenees.
  • Brandada was a recipe very present on the tables of the inhabitants of coastal areas, from Alicante to Italian Liguria .
  • At the end of the 18th century, he arrived in France, where the original recipe evolved by eliminating garlic, substituting oil for butter, adding potato and cream or milk. As it turned out with other dishes that arrived in this country, the French adapted it to their tastes and then gave it international notoriety.

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