Grilled Polenta with Dried Cod Mousse (Baccalà Mantecato)

Grilled Polenta with Dried Cod Mousse (Baccalà Mantecato)
Grilled Polenta with Dried Cod Mousse (Baccalà Mantecato)
This creamy codfish mousse is delicious served with char-grilled squares of polenta.Matt Taylor-Gross

This creamy codfish mousse is delicious served with char-grilled squares of polenta. This recipe first appeared in our March 2012 issue, with Dana Bowen's story Good and Plenty.

Find this recipe in our cookbook, SAVEUR: Italian Comfort Food

Grilled Polenta with Dried Cod Mousse (Baccalà Mantecato)
This creamy codfish mousse is delicious served with char-grilled squares of polenta.

Ingredients

  • 10 oz. dried salt cod
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved
  • 1 rib celery, halved
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 12 cup olive oil, plus more
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 13 cups quick-cooking polenta
  • 24 small leaves radicchio
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped parsley

Instructions

  1. Place cod in a 2-qt. saucepan, and cover by 2″ with cold water; boil for 20 minutes. Drain cod, return to saucepan, and repeat process twice more. Transfer cod to a 6-qt. saucepan and add milk, onion, celery, garlic, and 10 cups water; boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook until cod is tender, about 20 minutes. Drain cod, reserving 14 cup cooking liquid; discard vegetables and skin and bones from cod. Process cod and cooking liquid in a food processor until smooth. While processor is running, drizzle in 12 cup oil; continue mixing until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and season with salt and pepper; chill cod mousse.
  2. Meanwhile, bring 4 cups salted water to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan over high heat; while whisking, add polenta, and cook, stirring, until thick, 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a greased 12″ x 9″ rimmed baking sheet; smooth top and chill until set. Heat a cast-iron grill pan over high heat. Cut polenta into eighteen 2″ x 3″ rectangles; brush with more oil. Working in batches, grill polenta, turning once, until slightly charred, about 4 minutes. Top each rectangle with radicchio and a dollop of cod mousse; sprinkle with parsley.