Salt fish and soft egg
SERVES 6-8 AS PART OF A SHARED MEAL // PREP TIME 30 MINS // COOK 35 MINS (PLUS STRAINING)
“This is based on Fergus Henderson’s version of brandade de morue, served with a confit yolk for richness,” says Edwards. “This is my ultimate food – it’s a great snack with a glass of wine, a stand-alone meal or a banging breakfast.” A soft poached egg is an easy substitute for the confit yolk. Pictured p101.
250 gm salted fish (see note) 150 gm floury potatoes, such as royal blue, sebago or Desiree, quartered ½ onion 2 bay leaves Finely grated zest of 1 lemon 80 ml (1⁄3 cup) extra-virgin olive oil 1 tsp white pepper Juice of 1⁄2 lemon 1 egg yolk, separated from eggwhite and intact 2 tbsp olive oil ¼ cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped Char-grilled toast, to serve SPRING ONION OIL 150 ml rice bran oil 2 cups spring onion tops, thinly sliced, plus extra, to serve 1 For spring onion oil, combine ingredients in a food processor and blend on high speed until smooth (5 minutes). Pour into a fine sieve set over a bowl, cover and refrigerate to strain (2 hours; refrigerating will stop the oil discolouring).
2 Add fish, potato, onion, bay leaves and half the lemon zest to a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low-medium and simmer until fish and potato are tender (20-25 minutes). Strain, reserving 60ml of cooking water. Discard onion.
3 While still warm, mash potato and, for a smoother consistency, pass through a mouli or fine sieve. When cool enough to handle, remove skin and bones from fish and coarsely shred the flesh. Transfer fish to an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until shredded (6 minutes). Add potato and beat to combine, then gradually add extra-virgin olive oil and reserved cooking water until mixture has a fibrous, fluffy texture. Season with white pepper, lemon juice and remaining lemon zest.
4 Preheat oven to 100°C.
Add egg yolk to a small metal dariole mould or heatproof vessel of a similar size (such as an espresso cup) and cover completely with olive oil. Half-fill an oven tray with warm water, add mould and cook in oven until the yolk is warmed and slightly thickened (7 minutes).
5 To serve, warm brandade and fold through the parsley. Dollop brandade onto a plate, top with confit egg yolk and sprinkle with spring onion tops. Drizzle with spring onion oil and serve with char-grilled toast.
Note At The Summertown Aristologist, the chefs make their own salted snapper, but salted cod, soaked overnight in a large quantity of cold water, is a good substitute. To salt your own fish, cover fillets with salt and cure for 2 days in refrigerator, ensuring they remain covered with salt, then rinse well and refrigerate, suspended or on a wire rack, for up to a week.
Wine suggestion A slightly oily, weighted white such as Jauma “Xpectations” Cabernet Sauvignon from McLaren Vale.