Calliope's Real Greek Food

cooking & stories in my Brooklyn kitchen

Baked cod in tomato and garlic sauce from Santorini
{Brandada Santorinis}

#GlutenFree 

‘Brandade de Morue’ in French, ‘Brandada de Bacalao’ in Spanish. The idea is the same: salt cod and olive oil eaten with bread and potatoes in the wintertime. In Provence, they make it with garlic, milk and olive oil, but in Santorini, ‘Brandada’ is made with what is available in the island: tomatoes, potatoes and garlic. Its flavor is strong and therefore, it is usually served with steamed wild greens for balance. Serve at room temperature. 

Ingredients

- 1 pound skinless and boned salt cod
- 2 potatoes

3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
salt
1 cup extra virgin olive oil (about 1/2 cup for the emulsion, 2 tbsp. for the sauce, 6-8 tbsp. for frying the cod)
 ¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. tomato paste (diluted in ¾ cup of water)
1 tsp. sugar  

Preparation Method for the salt cod

1.     Salt cod needs to soak in water for 24 – 48 hours, otherwise it is too salty to eat
2.     Place the cod in a large bowl of water and change the water every 3-4 hours
3.     As soon as it is ready (taste it) place the cod on a plate layered with paper towel to strain the extra water 

Preparation Method for the dish

1.     Boil the potatoes (not peeled) in water for about 30 minutes; remove from water and allow them to cool
2.     Peel the potatoes; use a food processor or a mortar and start mixing them gradually with the garlic, salt, olive oil and the vinegar until you have used all the potatoes and you have a smooth emulsion (the amount of olive oil needed can vary from 1/2 cup – ¾ cup olive oil depending on how much the potatoes will absorb)
3.     Cut the cod in big chunks and heat 2 – 3 tbsp. of olive oil to fry it for about 5-6 minutes on each side, until golden brown and crispy. Once done, place it on a plate, layered with paper towel
4.     Preheat the oven at 360F and coat a baking pot with olive oil
5.     Use another frying pan to heat 2 tbsp. olive oil; dilute the tomato paste with the water and add it to the hot olive oil for 1-2 minutes. Add the potato mix and stir well. Try first and then add some sugar and salt according to taste
6.     Use a spoon to take some of this sauce and layer the bottom of the baking pot; place the fried cod on top and pour the remaining sauce on it
7.     Bake it for about 10 minutes

Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4

(Illustration by minifrenchie)