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Baccala (Salt Cod) Brandade
An amazingly comfy and warming winter dish - serve in individual ramekins or small cazuelas as a hot hors d'oeuvre or in a larger dish/cazuela as an accompanying side. Delicious with shaved fresh black truffles or white truffle oil drizzled on top! Can also be chilled and rolled into fritters, with breadcrumbs/parmesan/parsley coating - fried and served with aioli (or alioli, depending on your spelling/language/country preference)

1 1/4 lbs. (dry weight, thickest cut, as few bones as possible) salt cod, soaked for a day in cold water in fridge, changing water every 6 hours
1 1/4 lbs. potatoes, baked, boiled or steamed until completely cooked (baked is best, but not always practical - one shortcut way to get there is to microwave potatoes for 10 minutes on high then oil and toss into a hot oven for 10 minutes)
2 branches thyme
1 bayleaf
1/2 cup half and half or light cream

1/4 cup olive oil, plus a bit more
2 garlic cloves
, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley
, chopped
grated parmesan
2 tbsp. butter
white truffle oil (optional yet fantastic)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place drained salt cod in a large pot, cover with water and add bayleaf and thyme. Bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes until fish flakes easily. Remove from heat and let cool, leaving fish in liquid. Fish needs to be de-boned and flaked while still warm, but cool enough to handle. Flake fish (smallish pieces - about 1/2") into a bowl, checking well to get rid of all bones and skin. Discard skin, bones and cooking liquid.

Smash warm potatoes with a ricer or a fork and add to fish. Add chopped garlic and parsley and fresh ground black pepper. Stir in cream and olive oil, alternating, a little at a time, mixing lightly with a wooden spoon. Final consistency of mixture should resemble lumpy mashed potatoes - not too liquid. Taste to see if any salt is needed.

Swirl olive oil into your baking dishes and spoon in the brandade mix. Leave top slightly rough and coat with breadcrumbs, parmesan and dot with butter. Roast until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with a little parsley and a few drops of truffle oil.

Serve very warm with grilled, oiled, toasted country bread triangles for dipping/spreading.

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Dinner Menus by Samsunshine Levy


Fantastic NET Caesar Salad
Orange-Ginger Shrimp Ceviche
Salt Cod Brandade (Baccala/Bacalao)

Main Dishes
Chipotle Pork Posole Stew
Dover Sole (or Tilapia) "Meuniere"
Tenderloin Filet Au Poivre
Easy Summer Grilled Pizza
Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino con Gamberoni, Zest and Body!

Soup & Sides
Famous NET MAN Steamed Broccoli
Perfect & Easy Tuscan White Bean Soup
Bacon Mustard Brussel Sprouts
Creamy Polenta
Crunchy Vegetarian Quinoa Tabouli

Dark and Stormy cocktail
Homemade Santa Fe Hot Cocoa Mix now with the power of chipotle
Dark Rum Egg Nog

Apple Scone Cobbler
Nina's Birthday Cardamom Peach Cobbler
Italian Semifreddo Cassata
Rich & Dark Pecan Pie
Easy No-Bake Chocolate Pots de Creme
Moistest German Chocolate Cake
Christmas Morning Bacon Doughnuts
Paste di Meliga (Italian Cornmeal Cookies)
Even More Foolproof Vodka Pie Crust
Ginger Pecan Pie