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Category: Appetizers

Brandade in shiitakes

Brandade in shiitakes
Los Angeles Times

I must be running with the wrong crowd. Every cocktail party I go to seems to involve hors d'oeuvres that require three hands: one to hold a drink, and two to wrestle the food off a tiny plate and onto ... Read more

Total time: About 1 hour after overnight soaking | Serves 6 to 8
Note: This brandade technique is adapted from the late chef Felipe Rojas-Lombardi. The shiitakes should all be small, no more than 2 1/2 inches across, rounded and fairly thick.
  • 1/4 pound boneless dried salt cod
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 6 allspice berries
  • 6 juniper berries
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander
  • 2 small dried hot red peppers, crumbled (or 1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes)
  • 12 cloves garlic, peeled: 6 whole, 6 chopped
  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 medium baking potato, peeled and chopped
  • 32 small shiitakes, stemmed and wiped clean
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Smoked paprika for garnish

Step 1Soak the salt cod in cold water overnight, changing water several times.

Step 2The next day, combine the cream, bay leaves, allspice, juniper berries, coriander and hot peppers in a small saucepan. Add the 6 whole garlic cloves and bring to a simmer. Cook over very low heat 30 minutes, until thickened and well flavored.

Step 3While the cream steeps, bring a second pot of water to a boil with ginger. Add the cod and return to a boil. Immediately remove with a slotted spoon to a colander to drain. Let stand until cool enough to handle.

Step 4Boil the potato until soft; drain.

Step 5Flake the cod with fingers or forks until very fine and place in mixing bowl; discard skin if necessary. Add the potato and mash together. Strain the cream through a fine sieve into the mixture, discarding solids. Mix to a smooth puree. Add the remaining chopped garlic and mix well. Taste and add salt if needed.

Step 6Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the shiitakes in a large shallow bowl and sprinkle with olive oil. Toss until completely coated. Arrange on a large baking sheet in a single layer, stem side up. Mound about 1 tablespoon brandade into the center of each. Dust with paprika.

Step 7Roast 10 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.

Each of 8 servings:
210 calories; 11 grams protein; 14 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 13 grams fat; 7 grams saturated fat; 62 mg. cholesterol; 380 mg. sodium.
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