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large zucchini stuffed with cod cream

La brandada, an absolute Mediterranean hit

ingredients for 4 servings (cost about 4€ pp)
  • 500 g cod filets, desalted
  • 150 ml lukewarm milk
  • 50 ml vegetable stock
  • 150 ml EV sunflower oil
  • 4 roasted garlic cloves
  • 1 fresh pepperoncino
  • white pepper
  • fresh mint
  • 2 very large zucchini

Precision cookers are not used only for preparing meat dishes. Vegetables as squashes, zucchinis, celery roots etc. can be cooked or pre-cooked perfectly in a sous vide bath.

Cod cream or brandada is one of the most famous dishes in Southern Europe. It is made in Portugal, Spain, France and Italy with slightly different names. Moreover, it was the absolute hit of my resto and the dish I have prepared more times in my life!!!! It is crucial for the proper preparation, that all the ingredients are at room temperature.

So, we take two very large zucchinis, we cut them vertically in halves, we remove their seeds with a spoon, we lightly salt them, we seal them in a vacuum bag and we cook them for about 2 hours at 85 Celsius degrees. When this time passes, we control with our finger, to see if the zucchini have become tender. They need to be almost cooked. We set aside.

We cut the cod in pieces, we simmer them for 2 minutes ONLY and we remove very carefully most of the skin and all of its bones. I suggest that you leave a small amount of skin, as it is a great emulsifier.

We put the pieces of cod and the roasted garlic cloves (peeled) in a immersion blender and we beat them, until they almost turn to a cream. We start adding slowly the stock and the EV sunflower oil alternately with the milk. We finish with a little white pepper.

We beat, until the cream becomes light and fluffy, making sure that all the oil and the liquids are well incorporated and absorbed by the cod. I repeat, we must neither rush nor use cold materials.

We fill the 4 zucchini halves with the cod cream and we bake them for about 15 minutes in a preheated oven at 210 degrees, until golden.

We garnish with pepperoncino pieces and fresh mint and we serve.


Published in VEGETABLES