Whipped Salt Cod
Chef Adam Vettorel, North and Navy
Traditionally in Italy, salt cod would’ve been a dish that served on Fridays when eating meat is prohibited by religious law. Today, the popular ingredient is still a great option for Friday night dinner party appetizer. This recipe for Whipped Salt Cod, or baccalà mantecato in Italian, is a great savoury spread to serve with a crusty bread.
1 pound salt cod
1 large russet potato, diced into large pieces
1 cup whole milk
2 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
3 large garlic cloves, smashed
½ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper
Soak salt cod for 36-48 hours, switching water every 8 hours or so. Prepare the thyme, bay leaf and garlic by placing them all into cheese cloth, tied to enclose ingredients inside. Then, transfer cod, potatoes, and your cheese cloth bundle into a heavy saucepan and cover with the milk. Carefully bring to a simmer, and then lower heat (to prevent cod from disintegrating). Cook for about 30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Reserve the cooking liquid into a measuring cup with a spout, and then drain the rest. Remove the cheese cloth bundle and transfer the hot potatoes and fish into a stand mixer. Or, if you don’t have a stand mixer, transfer to a heavy-duty bowl in which you can whip the mixture by hand. If you are mixing by hand, you will need a strong wooden spoon and a strong whisk. If using the stand mixer, put the paddle attachment on medium to low speed, breaking up the fish. Then, with the mixer still going, add olive oil in a thin steady stream. Increase the speed of the mixer (or your arm) and add the milk mixture you’d set aside. Use only as much as you need to make the mix aerated and fluffy. If you wish, garnish (we use parsley and capers). Serve with slices of crusty bread.
ABOUT THE CHEF
Adam Vettorel is the chef and co-owner of Ottawa’s North & Navy. Previously he was the chef du cuisine at the iconic Domus Cafe. He has been cooking in Ottawa for fifteen years. His interest in Northern Italian food comes from his father’s side of the family, who hail from Veneto.
Bite is a biweekly feature on modellocanada.com, and is inspired by the Venetian tradition of serving cicchetti—small dishes to snack on with wine—at local bàcari.