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Baccalà mantecato (creamed cod) with polenta toasts

Chef Danilo Angè

Difficulty: easy

Method: 20'

Cooking: 60'

Difficulty: easy

Method: 20'

Cooking: 60'

Chef Danilo Angè

Difficulty: easy

Method: 20'

Cooking: 60'

Difficulty: easy

Method: 20'

Cooking: 60'

Basic preparations

Vegetable stock

Method

  1. 01 / Prepare the polenta

    Bring 1 litre of water a boil in a pot

    Once boiling, salt the water and lower the heat to simmer

    Add corn flour and vigorously whisk

    Cook on low heat for about 1 hour, stirring every now and then with a wooden spoon

    The polenta is cooked when it comes away from the edges of the pot, forming a crust

    Pour polenta into a baking dish

    Let cool

  2. 02 / Prepare the anchovy oil

    Pour extra virgin olive oil into a saucepan

    Add garlic

    Add anchovies, drained of preservation oil

    Cook over low heat, stirring until anchovies break down

    Remove garlic

  3. 03 / Cook the cod

    Pour vegetable stock (with the vegetables strained out) in a pot

    Wash potatoes and submerge them in stock

    Cook for 30 minutes

    Add cod to the same pot

    Continue cooking for 15 minutes

  4. 04 / Prepare the creamed cod

    Remove potatoes, making sure they are soft

    Peel and roughly cut them and put them in a bowl

    Drain the fish and place on a baking sheet

    Skin and bone fish

    Add fish to the bowl of potatoes

    Add anchovy oil in a gradual stream, whisking vigorously

    As the mixture begins to come together, continue stirring with a wooden spoon until it forms a cream

    Add salt and pepper to taste

  5. 05 / Cook the polenta

    Cut cooled polenta into slices

    Cook on the grill or in a well-heated pan

  6. 06 / Plate

    Chop parsley

    Arrange polenta slices on serving dishes

    Spread cod on polenta slices

    Sprinkle with chopped parsley

Wine pairing

Baccalà mantecato with polenta toasts pairs well with a very balanced, soft, and well-textured white wine, such as Tocai veneto or Verdicchio di Jesi.

Basic preparations

Vegetable stock

You can prepare the polenta well in advance, even a couple of days beforehand; pour it into a baking dish, store it in the refrigerator, and grill it right before serving.

You can also prepare the vegetable stock in advance; it can be used even if you have previously frozen it.

Be careful that the cod is thoroughly desalinated, otherwise you risk a very unpleasant end result.

Even if the fish has been well-desalinated, do not add salt until the end, especially in this recipe which also contains anchovies.

Be careful to cook the anchovy oil over very gentle heat—the anchovies should only break apart and the garlic should not burn.

You can store the baccalà mantecato in the refrigerator for the next day.

You can also use it to make tasty meatballs: form small balls about 3 cm in diameter; lightly flour them and roll them first in beaten egg and then in breadcrumbs. Fry them in peanut or sunflower oil at 165°C until golden brown. They are perfect as an appetiser or as hors d’oeuvres.

If you have some polenta left over, it will also keep for two or three days covered in the refrigerator. In colder months, you can serve it alongside braised beef.

We recommend buying cod that has already been desalinated, which is much easier. If you cannot find any, proceed as follows: gently rinse the outermost layer of salt off the cod under running water for a couple of minutes. Transfer the fish to a large bowl of cold water and place it in the refrigerator for about 36 hours, changing the water every 8 hours. You can tell that the fish is desalinated by tasting the water; it should taste almost free of salt.

Ingredients for 4 people

For the cod

400 g salt cod, desalinated

300 g potatoes

3 L vegetable stock

1 clove garlic

30 g anchovies in oil

20 g parsley

100 ml extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

For the polenta

200 g corn flour

1 L water

10 g salt

Wine pairing

Baccalà mantecato with polenta toasts pairs well with a very balanced, soft, and well-textured white wine, such as Tocai veneto or Verdicchio di Jesi.

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