Brandade in shiitakes

Time 1 hour
Yields Serves 6 to 8
Brandade in shiitakes
(Los Angeles Times)

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


The 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.


While 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.


Boil the potato until soft; drain.


Flake 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.


Heat 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.


Roast 10 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.

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.

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