Migennes and our dinner of cabillaud.
Migennes, in Burgundy, is a short two hour drive south from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. We arrived at CDG on an early flight out of Hong Kong, with Michael feeling very poorly, collected the Europcar and off we went GPS directing us to Auxerre where we need to visit Orange and Bouygues to arrange my internet connection for the time on board Betty B.
Margaret and John are waiting on board for us and we expect to arrive on board mid-afternoon after the side excursion. As usual, it took hours to sort out with some people in the queue ahead me at Orange waiting for 2 hours for their turn!
On our arrival, Michael heads straight to bed where he rests for almost two days while we arrange shopping and other departure details.
For dinner, Margaret cooks pan fried cabillaud, one the French’s favourite fish, called le roi de la mer, the king of the sea, in France, and is the country’s top-selling fish. Perfect as a quick dinner on our arrival.
Cabillaud, or fresh cod is a lean, tender and sweet fish. It is an excellent source of vitamins, proteins and minerals. As with any seafood, it is best to purchase cod from a reputable fish store. My poissonnière, Le Capitaine, has them nicely displayed—the whole cod buried in ice and the steaks and fillets on top of the ice. It should never smell “fishy” and the eyes should appear bright and clear. After buying, refrigerate immediately. I suggest using the fish within a day or two after purchasing.
In French, the dried cod is called morue and I am sure you have enjoyed the famous and delicious brandade de morue many times.
To best way to cook fresh cod or cabillaud:
Pat the fish pieces dry and dust lightly with flour. In a suitable sized pan, add a knob of butter with a little olive oil. When sizzling, add the cabillaud and cook for approximately 3 minutes on each side. Be careful not to overcook it or it will fall apart. Serve immediately with a garden salad or a fresh vegetable medley.
Brandade de Morue
The famous brandade de morue of Provenҫe is a pounded mixture of salted cod, olive oil, garlic, milk and cream. This flavourful purée is served with croûtes and often garnished with chopped black truffles. There are a few variations on this classic dish from the south of France, generally associated with the village of Nimes. Other salted or smoked fish can be used to make brandade. While the French will sometimes bake this as a dinner dish, it is very good as a spread on bread. You can make brandade with fresh, salted or dried cod.
I will post my recipe for our brandade on the website soon.