Brandade with a smoky twist from the Ducktrap

December 31, 2012 § 2 Comments

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So, the on-line prediction for Saturday night snow was about an inch. When we awoke, it looked more like six inches on the ground here in Five Islands. (Editor’s note: I’m not sure where Robert got that 1 inch prediction, but it led to a rather exciting road trip on Saturday afternoon. And I believe we got more like 8-10 inches overnight.) Well it is Maine. Break out the snow shovel, and the pain meds. Part of the shoveling included clearing a backyard path for the dogs. Their stumpy legs don’t give them a whole lot of room for “taking care of business” when there is more than about 6 inches or so of snow on the ground.

Thankfully, while I will most likely be shoveling a lot more often here than I did in Silver Spring, the yard is much smaller. So there was plenty of time left in the day to prepare dish number five in the Week of Seven Fishes. Another item we picked up on our Friday night sojourn in Portland was smoked trout. There’s a great company here in Maine called Ducktrap River, that smokes all kinds of seafood. Some of their products were available in the DC area (smoked salmon, smoked mussels), but there are a lot more options up here, smoked trout for example.

So I used it to prepare a brandade for our lunch. Traditionally, the Feast of Seven Fishes includes a salt cod brandade. But all of the salt cod available here (and around DC) is Atlantic cod, which is severely overfished. Given this, I thought a more responsible, but still very tasty, choice would be smoked trout. And I must say it turned out well. But unlike many recipes that call for a 2:1 potato to fish ratio, I used a 1.5:1 ratio to allow the fish to shine. I like this method. I have used cod in brandade before with the 2:1 ratio and it was simply too potato-y.

The recipe makes 2 cups, which would easily make four or more appetizer-sized portions served with bread and/or crackers.

All right, only two more dishes left. But given we have New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day in front of us, we won’t do dish six until Wednesday. Tonight we’ll be dining at Bar Lola in Portland. And for New Year’s Day, Amy (being a southern girl) insists on serving a big pot of black eyed peas with a nice ham hock and some kale on the side, all for a prosperous new year.

I feel a pasta dish in our future for Wednesday. Until then, we wish you a Happy New Year.

Smoked Trout Brandade
Inspired by: Smoked Trout Brandade, Food and Wine

Makes 2 cups

3-4 T olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/3 cup half and half (can substitute cream or milk here)
12 oz. yellow potatoes, peeled and cut in half
8 oz. smoked trout, flaked and skinned
1 T chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

In a saucepan, cover the potatoes with water and cook until tender, about 20-25 minutes. Drain, cool, and put through a ricer.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Heat 2 T olive oil over medium low heat in a skillet (or the same saucepan where you cooked the potatoes). Add garlic and cook for a minute or two. Stir in the flaked trout. Gently stir in riced potatoes. Stir in the milk/cream. Add parsley and salt and pepper to taste.

Spread the brandade in a shallow baking dish. Bake for about 15 minutes or until heated through. Brown the top under the broiler if desired. Drizzle with remaining oil.

Eat.

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§ 2 Responses to Brandade with a smoky twist from the Ducktrap

  • Alan Tate says:

    Brilliant. Smoked trout brandade. I’m trying this – maybe with smoked fera from Lake Geneva
    Happy New Year!

  • Robert says:

    Happy new year to you. Let me know how it goes. In April we will try it with something caught off the coast of southern Spain!

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