This Provence-inspired Salt Cod Fritters with Remoulade recipe is a preview from chef Laurent Gras's multiple IACP award-winning cookbook, My Provence.
6-8 servings | Prep Time: 1 hour | Cooking Time: 1 hour
For the Salted Cod
- 1 ⅓ pounds (600 g) dried salt cod, or 1 ¾ pounds (800 g) fresh cod
- 5 teaspoons (25 g) sea salt (if using fresh cod)
For the Choux Paste
- 1 cup (250 g) whole or partially skimmed milk
- 1 teaspoon (5 g) sea salt
- 1 teaspoon (5 g) sugar
- ¼ pound (110 g) unsalted butter
- 1 cup (120 g) all-purpose flour, sifted
- 5 large eggs
For the Rémoulade
- ⅔ cup (120 g) mayonnaise, homemade or store bought
- 2 anchovies, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) capers, chopped finely
- 1 medium (30 g) shallot, minced
- Zest of ½ lemon
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
- 2 sprigs Italian parsley, minced
- 1 sprig tarragon, minced
- ½ bunch chives, chopped
- 4 sprigs chervil, minced
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground white pepper
- Spanish paprika
For the Fritters
- 2 quarts (2 l) water
- 1 ¾ pound (800 g) rehydrated salt cod
- 1 pound (400 g) Russet or other starchy potato, peeled and cubed
- ¾ cup (160 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) finely chopped garlic
- 1 pound (400 g) choux paste, from above
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Canola or vegetable oil for frying
For the Salt Cod
- If using salt cod, cut the dried fish into pieces small enough to fit into a sealable container. Place the fish pieces in the container and cover with about 3 quarts (3 l) of water. Let the fish soak in the water, refrigerated, for 3 days, changing the water twice a day. If using fresh cod, place the loin of fish on plastic wrap, skin side down, and season evenly with the sea salt. Wrap the fish, place it on a plate, and leave it in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Unwrap and cut the fish into 6 pieces. Note, if using your own, homemade salt cod, rehydration is not necessary.
For the Choux Paste
- Place the milk, salt, sugar, and butter in a small saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Add the flour. Using a rubber spatula, stir to form a thick paste, reduce the heat, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Transfer this dough to the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle. Place on low to medium speed and incorporate the eggs, one at a time, until they are all thoroughly incorporated. The dough will separate and come back together after each egg is added. When all of the eggs have been incorporated, the mixture should be a stiff, smooth paste. Cool the dough completely and keep refrigerated. Without a mixer, allow the dough to cool for 5 minutes before beating in the eggs one at a time with a wooden spoon.
For the Remoulade
- If using homemade mayonnaise, prepare it on the thicker side. In a small mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, anchovies, capers, shallot, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, tarragon, chives, and chervil. Season well with salt, freshly ground white pepper, and paprika. Divide among small ramekins for dipping the fritters and refrigerate until ready to serve.
For the Fritters
- In a medium saucepan, bring 2 quarts (2 l) of water to a simmer at 160˚F (72°C). Poach the (rehydrated) salt cod in the water for 10 minutes. Remove from the water and let drain on a rack, reserving the poaching liquid in the saucepan. With your hands, flake the fish into a bowl, removing any bones. Discard any skin. Bring the poaching liquid up to a boil.
- Add the potatoes to the poaching liquid and boil until soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Pass through a food mill, ricer, or fine mesh sieve to completely mash.
- Place 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the olive oil in a small sauté pan and sweat the garlic, without browning, for 5 minutes. Add the fish along with the remaining olive oil and emulsify slowly while stirring with a wooden spoon. The natural gelatin in the flesh will mix with the oil to give the mixture a mayonnaise-like consistency.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the choux paste, the mashed potato, and the cooked fish mixture. Mix well and season with freshly ground pepper. Using two spoons, shape heaping tablespoons (30 g) of the mixture into quenelles or mounds, and reserve on a platter or tray until read to fry and serve.
- Pour the canola or vegetable oil into a deep fryer or a deep pot set over medium-high heat, and bring it up to 400˚F (200°C). Fry the fritters, 8 or so at a time—don’t crowd the fryer—until golden brown and crisp on all sides, about 4 minutes. Move them around in the oil so they brown evenly. When done, remove the fritters from the oil with a skimmer and let drain on paper towel.
- Serve the fritters hot with the rémoulade while you fry the rest.
Get this recipe and over 40 other delicious Provence-inspired dishes in Laurent Gras: My Provence, the award-winning online cookbook from renowned chef Laurent Gras, for $9.99.