With cod now in season, chef Kuniaki Arima steps away from the usual hotpots and soups to introduce “mantecato.” This Italian appetizer, the name of which means “whisked,” is a simple dish with boiled potatoes, cod and butter.
Choose the starchier “danshaku” variety of potato and cook slowly. “You will get a full flavor when it goes through 50 to 60 degrees slowly,” says Arima. He uses fresh cod instead of the dried and salted cod used in Italy.
A food processor may be used after the ingredients are somewhat mashed and flavored. But process moderately to retain texture. Serves four.
2 slices cod
2 small potatoes (200 grams)
3 cloves garlic
150 cc milk
Little less than 1 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sesame oil
Grated garlic, parsley, yuzu zest, peppercorn
Place potatoes with skin in pot with a generous amount of water and place over heat. Cook until bamboo skewer enters smoothly.
Remove skin and bones from cod. Cut garlic in half and remove shoot. Place garlic, milk and 150 cc water in small pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower heat. When garlic has softened, turn heat up a little and add cod. Cook for about 3 minutes. Drain in sieve.
Peel potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces and place in pot. Add garlic and cod and place over low heat. Broil while mashing them with spatula. Scrape bottom of pot so content does not burn. Once ingredients are mostly mashed, add butter, grated garlic, salt and mash until creamy. Add sesame oil and chopped parsley and mix.
Serve on plate. Indent center and pour bit of sesame oil (not listed above). Top with chopped peppercorn and yuzu zest.
Estimated time: 40 minutes (30 minutes to prepare, 10 minutes to finish)
Nutritional information (per serving): kilocalories, 100; sodium content, 0.7 grams; fat content, 2.9 grams