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Salt Cod Custards with Cod Croquettes and White Truffle Oil

Food Network Canada
YIELDS
10 servings

Recipe is courtesy of Chris McDonald, Chef and Owner of Avalon Restaurant.

This is meant as a “pre-appetizer” course for an elegant dinner party. For a more substantial serving you could surround the ramekin with lightly dressed tender greens – do not make the custards larger as they are very rich. For an extra special presentation Chris McDonald serves the custard in and egg shell but the recipe is just as delicious served in a ramekin. Yield is 10 servings.

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Ingredients

Custard

1 1
lb(s) thick, bone-in dried salt cod, chopped into small pieces (have your fishmonger do this)
1
cup milk
1
cup whipping (35%) cream
water, to cover cod
1
bay leaf
5
clove garlic, peeled
1
small onion, peeled and sliced
1
cup 18% cream
2
whole eggs
2
egg yolks
¼
tsp ground white pepper
6
drop Tabasco

Croquettes

½
cup water
3
Tbsp unsalted butter
¼
cup flour
2
eggs
reserved cod from above
2
cup sunflower or corn oil, for frying

To Assemble

White truffle oil, for drizzling
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Directions

Step 1

Rehydrate the salt cod a day before making.

Step 2

To rehydrate the salt cod, brush any excess salt from cod and put it in a container.

Step 3

Put the container with salt cod in the sink and run cold water over the cod for two hours (the tap should be open about halfway).

Step 4

Change the water one more time completely and store in the refrigerator overnight.

Step 5

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Step 6

Drain the cod and put it in a large pot.

Step 7

Cover with milk, whipping cream and enough water to cover the cod (it will just barely be enough liquid) and simmer slowly for one hour.

Step 8

Add bay leaf, garlic and onion and simmer 15 minutes more.

Step 9

Strain the cod through a fine-mesh colander so the liquid ends up in a liquid measuring cup.

Step 10

Set cod aside to cool.

Step 11

You will need at least 2 cups of liquid in the measuring cup.

Step 12

If you do not have 2 cups of liquid, add enough 18% cream to the measuring cup until there is 2 cups of liquid.

Step 13

Taste the liquid to check the salt level – if the mixture is too salty then add a bit more cream (you can add salt if it is not salted enough).

Step 14

Taste it again, adding cream until you are happy.

Step 15

It is fine if you end up with more than the minimum of 2 cups of liquid.

Step 16

In a separate medium-sized bowl whisk together the eggs and egg yolks just until incorporated.

Step 17

Whisk 2 cups of the cream mixture into the eggs.

Step 18

Season the mixture with white pepper and Tabasco.

Step 19

Divide custard evenly among ten 2 1/2-oz. ramekins.

Step 20

Put the ramekins in a large baking pan and add enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Step 21

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the custards are set but slightly jiggle.

Step 22

To make the choux pastry for the croquettes, bring the water to a boil with the butter in a heavy saucepan over high heat.

Step 23

Reduce heat to medium.

Step 24

Add flour all at once and cook, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon, until mixture pulls away from sides of pan, about 2 minutes.

Step 25

Remove pan from heat, transfer mixture to a small food processor and add eggs 1 at a time, pulsing after each addition until mixture is smooth.

Step 26

Flake the reserved cod into the bowl of a stand mixer being careful to remove all bones.

Step 27

On medium speed with a paddle attachment add choux pastry a little at a time and beat until the mix comes together.

Step 28

If the mix seems overly dry, add a spoonful of the custard mix by hand.

Step 29

Form into small quenelle-shaped (1 1/2- to 2-inch ovals) croquettes.

Step 30

Heat the oil in a small pot fitted with a candy thermometer to 350 degrees F.

Step 31

Fry the croquettes for about 2 to 3 minutes or until golden.

Step 32

Drain the croquettes on paper towels.

Step 33

Place each ramekin of custard on a serving plate.

Step 34

Drizzle 1-2 drops of truffle oil on the top of each and rest a croquette on top.

Step 35

Serve immediately.

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