Brandade fritters with sweet paprika mayonnaise

Brandade fritters with sweet paprika mayonnaise

Leiths How to Cook
Peter Cassidy

You need to start this recipe at least 24 hours in advance, to allow sufficient time for soaking the salt cod.


Quantity Ingredient
300g salt cod
550g floury potatoes, (about 2 large ones)
2 garlic cloves
350ml milk
1/2 small onion
1 bay leaf
4-6 black peppercorns
50ml olive oil
1/4 bunch chives
1/2 red chilli
squeeze lemon juice, (optional)
2 eggs
200g fresh white breadcrumbs
oil, for deep-frying
freshly ground black pepper

For the paprika mayonnaise

Quantity Ingredient
1-2 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika
1 quantity Mayonnaise


  1. Place the salt cod in a bowl, cover with cold water and soak for 24 hours, changing the water 2 or 3 times.
  2. When ready to cook, heat the oven to 200ºC.
  3. Wash the potatoes and prick with a fork a few times, then place in a roasting tin and bake in the oven for 1–1½ hours until completely tender. Add the unpeeled garlic cloves for the last 15–20 minutes of cooking.
  4. When you have added the garlic to the potatoes, remove the salt cod from the water, discarding the water. Place in a sauté pan and add enough milk to cover. Peel and slice the onion and add to the milk with the bay leaf and peppercorns. Bring just to a simmer over a low heat, then turn the heat down and poach gently for 5–10 minutes until the salt cod is cooked; it should flake easily. Leave to cool slightly in the milk.
  5. Once the potatoes are soft, remove from the oven, leave to cool for a few minutes, then cut in half and scoop out the flesh. While still hot, push the flesh through a potato ricer into a bowl. Squeeze the garlic cloves from their skins and set aside.
  6. Drain the salt cod, reserving the milk, but discarding the onion slices, bay leaves and peppercorns.
  7. Place the salt cod and squeezed-out garlic in a food processor and blend until broken down but not completely smooth. You might need to add a little splash of the reserved milk to help, but keep the texture reasonably firm. Add the potato and pulse to combine, then gradually pulse in the olive oil.
  8. Finely chop the chives, deseed and finely chop the chilli and add both to the brandade mixture. Taste and season with pepper and lemon juice if necessary. Roll the mixture into walnut-sized balls, using about 1 tablespoon for each. Place on a tray lined with baking parchment to firm up until ready to cook.
  9. To make the paprika mayonnaise, stir the sweet paprika into the mayonnaise, to taste, making sure the flavour is not overpowering, and transfer to a small bowl ready for serving.
  10. Break the eggs into a shallow dish and lightly whisk. Place the breadcrumbs in another dish. Fill a large, deep, heavy saucepan one-third full with oil (or use a deep-fat fryer) and heat over a medium heat to 190°–193°C, or until a piece of bread browns in 30–40 seconds.
  11. Place a few of the brandade fritters in the egg to coat, then roll them in the breadcrumbs to coat evenly. Gently lower them into the hot oil using a slotted spoon and fry until golden and hot through, about 3–4 minutes.
  12. Lift out the fritters, drain well on kitchen paper and very lightly dust with salt. Keep warm in a low oven, with the door ajar, while you coat and deep-fry the remaining fritters. Serve the fritters with the paprika mayonnaise.

A note on brandade...

  • Brandade is a dip made with salt cod and olive oil, and flavoured with garlic. Potato or bread is often added to help firm the mixture a little.
Leiths School of food and wine
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