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How to Make Brandade

 What is a "brondade?"

 How confident a speller are you? Because on the Internet, that tends to matter. There is a classic French dish, but it goes by the name of brandade. Or more formally, Brandade de Morue Nîmes (Ragout of Cod Nîmes). But it is pronounced, just as you spelled it, with an onh sound in the first syllable.

Brandade is a purée of salt cod, olive oil, and milk, and is a specialty of the city of Nîmes in the Languedoc region in the south of France.

Here is the traditional recipe, just in case you have a little salt cod hanging about.

Brandade de Morue Nîmes
From Larousse Gastronomique, edited by Jenifer Harvey Lang.

Desalt 2 kg (4-1/2 lb) salt cod, changing the water several times. Cut the fish into pieces and poach it very gently in water for 8 minutes. Drain, then remove the bones and skin. Heat 2 dl (7 fluid oz, 3/4 cup) olive oil in a thick flat-bottomed saucepan until it begins to smoke. Add the cod then crush and work the mixture with a wooden spoon, while heating gently. When it forms a fine paste, remove the pan from the heat. Continue to work the brandade then, while stirring continuously, gradually add 4 to 5 dl (14 to 17 fluid oz, 1-3/4 to 2 cups) olive oil, alternating with 2.5 dl (8 fluid oz, 1 cup) boiled milk or fresh cream. Season with salt and white pepper. The result should be a smooth white paste with the consistency of potato purée. Pile the brandade into a dish and garnish with triangles of crustless bread fried in oil. It can also be put into the oven to brown, just before serving.

Not far away in Marseilles, garlic is added to the dish and the croutons are rubbed with garlic, but that is not authentic. Many recipes also include a potato purée to dilute the flavor, but that is absolutely not authentic (and seems, to us, a little redundant, at least as far as texture is concerned). Finally, the dish can be dressed up with slivers of truffles, and we don't care if that's authentic or not.

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