Whipped salt cod on crispy polenta
Makes 6 appetizer servings Choose thick pieces when buying salted cod, as thinner pieces tend to be very salty and removing the salt from them might be a challenge. Grilled bread or polenta is the perfect accompaniment to this dish. This dish is really not complete until you pair it with a dry, medium-bodied white…

CIA FOODIES


Baccalà Mantecato (Whipped Salt Cod)

Makes 6 appetizer servings Choose thick pieces when buying salted cod, as thinner pieces tend to be very salty and removing the salt from them might be a challenge. Grilled bread or polenta is the perfect accompaniment to this dish. This dish is really not complete until you pair it with a dry, medium-bodied white or sparkling wine. The wine will serve as a light “sauce” for the dish and create an almost unimaginable balance of flavors and textures. Get ready for a really spectacular food and wine pairing, deceptive in its simplicity.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb salt cod, thick pieces if possible, soaked
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 lb baking potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup mild extra-virgin olive oil, or 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil and 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 oz)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed

Directions

  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, place the cod, 1 garlic clove, the potatoes, and milk and bring to a gentle simmer.
  2. Once the potatoes are tender, drain the mixture, saving some of the liquid, unless it is very salty.
  3. Place the drained potatoes, cod, and garlic in a food processor and, with the machine running, add the olive oil.
  4. Chop the parsley leaves with the other clove of garlic and fold into the cod mixture.
  5. If the whipped cod at this point is too thick, adjust with a little milk left over from the cooking, or if that liquid is too salty, you may add a little bit of cream or water.
  6. Add the cheese and blend, season with black pepper, and serve.

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