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The Feast of the Seven Fishes – Brandade

Food Brandade

The Feast of the Seven Fishes is a tradition inspired by Southern Italy, where families would abstain from meat.   So being Italian, why not game the system and make an all-fish feast? Salted cod is one of the staples of the traditional meal, and we bring it into the 21st century with a modern take on Brandade. It will be a guaranteed new tradition.

This recipe is inspired by restauranteur Gabe Stulman’s old Montmartre restaurant in NYC, which was one of the most memorable French restaurants the city has seen.

It was my go-to date night spot, where I would sit at the bar and chat with the bartender and waitstaff like I was on an episode of cheers.  Montmartre had all the quaintness of Paris, with the chic of New York.

Brandade, which you rarely find on menus anywhere, was one of the signature dishes.  I’m pretty sure they used salted cod that they whipped with potatoes.  Their version was more cod than potatoes, versus this one which is about 50/50.

I also use oat milk to steam the fresh cod, versus salt which is the original recipe from sailors in Marseille who needed to preserve their fish somehow on their long voyages, so opted for the salt cured version.

My version is also more flavorful – I like a little spice and appreciate the licorice flavor the Penrod or sambuca bring to the dish.

For me, this is a fall and winter go-to recipe that’s a little naughty with the mashed potatoes, and a little nice with the oat milk.

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