Baked Cod with Creamy Garlic Sauce (Brandada)

Santorinian cuisine is as unique as the island itself  and fish is one of the main ingredients of their cuisine, especially  cod.  

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500 g boneless salt cod fillet
1/2 lb boiling potatoes (2 medium) scrubbed and washed
3-4 garlic cloves, minced in a garlic crusher
1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
salt to taste
2 tbs good tomato paste
1 scant teaspoon sugar


Preheat oven to 180°C.

1.  Place the cod in a large pot with ample fresh water and soak for 24 hours, changing the water several times.

2.  Bring the potatoes to a boil in a medium sized pot. Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until fork tender. Remove and cool slightly.

3.  Peel the potatoes and have the garlic ready.

4.  Either with a large mortar or in a mixer with a wire whisk, place the hot, peeled potatoes one or two at a time, and mix, adding a little salt and the olive oil and vinegar in slow, steady, alternating streams until a loose thick sauce forms.

5.  Remove and trim cod. Cut into serving pieces.

6.  Heat two tablespoons at a time of olive oil and sauté the cod over medium heat for about five to six minutes on each side. It should be golden and crisp.

7.  Lightly oil a large ovenproof glass-baking pan, big enough to fit all the fish pieces in one layer.

8.  In a separate skillet, heat two tablespoons olive oil.

9.  Dilute the tomato paste in 3/4 cup water and stir into the hot oil. Stir over medium-low heat until a thick sauce forms.

10.  Add the potato-garlic mixture to this, and stir to combine.

11. Spoon a little sauce onto the bottom of the pan and place the fried cod on top.

12.  Spoon the remaining sauce over the fish and bake in a moderate oven for about five to eight minutes. Remove and serve warm.


This cod dish with the creamy garlic sauce is perfect when paired with one of the many exquisite Santorinian white wines.
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