Recipe: Baccalà-and-Potato Brandade Baguette with White Truffle

For our holiday entertaining guide, Chef Barbara Lynch shares six recipes for a festive spread. Here's how to make a brandade baguette dish.
barbara lynch baguette 1

Photograph by Pat Piasecki

Baccalà-and-Potato Brandade Baguette with White Truffle

Yields 40 toasts

  • 8 oz. baccalà
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 1 c. milk
  • ½ c. heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp. butter, room temperature
  • 80 g. white truffle
  • 1 loaf baguette
  • 1 small Idaho potato, approximately ½ lb.
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil

Rinse salt cod well. Soak in 1 quart of cold water overnight. Alternatively, if time is an issue, pour boiling-hot water over cod, cover with plastic wrap, and soak for 20 to 25 minutes. In a medium saucepot, add soaked cod, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, peppercorns, milk, and cream. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until fish flakes easily, 15 to 20 minutes. Place fish in a medium-size bowl and strain milk through a mesh sieve, discarding the garlic, bay leaf, and peppercorns and reserving the milk-cream cooking liquid.

In a medium saucepot, cover potato, skin on, in cold water. Simmer until cooked through, about 20 minutes, testing by piercing with a sharp paring knife or cake tester. Drain the potato, peel, and mash with a fork. Reheat the milk-cream mixture. Add the potato to the cod while still hot, then add the butter and ⅓ cup of the milk-cream mixture, mixing with a fork the whole time. Keep adding the liquid one tablespoon at a time until you have a creamy, spreadable texture. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. This can be made up to two days ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice baguette into thin rounds or thin strips. Lightly brush with olive oil and toast until golden brown. Spread each toast with the brandade mixture. Set aside until ready to serve, and garnish with shaved white truffle.

Note: When eating truffles, much of the experience is the incredible scent that perfumes the air while you shave them. If you are going all out to serve white truffles, Lynch recommends investing in a truffle slicer. It is not too expensive and is available at specialty stores and online. This is the perfect tool for shaving your truffles into delicate, silky, thin slices. As your guests are enjoying their cocktails, shave the truffles over the baccalà toasts in front of them, allowing the ethereal scent to drift through the room.

barbara lynch baguette 2

Photograph by Pat Piasecki

 

Check out all six Barbara Lynch recipes in our holiday entertaining guide, “A Chef’s Holiday.”