Mother Earth Living

Sustainable Fish: Brandade with Fresh Salted Halibut

Fresh halibut is a healthy, sustainable choice for seafood lovers.
By Alice Waters, Chez Panisse
November/December 2002
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Fresh halibut is a healthy, sustainable choice for seafood lovers.
Photo By Joe Coca

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Brandade with Fresh Salted Halibut 
Serves 6 

3/4 pound halibut
Kosher salt
Bay leaf, peppercorns, sprig thyme, cayenne pepper
1/2 onion
5 cloves garlic
3 cups milk
1/4 pound russet potatoes
1/4 pound yellow-flesh potatoes (yellow finn, Yukon gold)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 stalks green garlic or 2 cloves garlic

1. Salt the halibut generously with kosher salt. Place in a perforated pan or colander and let sit, refrigerated, for 2 days.

2. In a medium skillet, combine the herbs, spices, onion, and 5 garlic cloves with the milk and heat for 5 minutes; do not let boil. Place the halibut in the skillet and poach until tender, around 5 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, peel and chunk the potatoes.

3. Gently remove the halibut from the skillet with a slotted spoon. Remove any bones and skin.

4. Transfer the milk the fish was poached in to a saucepan and add potatoes. Cook until tender, then drain and purée them, either in a ricer or a mixer using the paddle attachment. Scoop out one-third of the puréed potatoes and set aside, then add the halibut to the ricer or mixer. Mix well, at medium speed, drizzling in the olive oil and a bit of the cooking liquid. Keep mixing and adding liquid until the desired smooth, creamy consistency is reached.

5. Pound the green garlic to a fine paste in a mortar and pestle and stir into the purée. For an even more full-flavored brandade, pass the herbs, onion, and garlic cloves through a food mill and stir some of this purée in as well. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve as a spread.

Read the original article, "Sustainable Fish: How to Make Sustainable Seafood Choices."

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