Whole Foods was solely the inspiration for this particular dish. More specifically, the Newton Centre Whole Foods having a special on beautiful fresh wild haddock- $9.99/# isn't bad for fish of this quality. Also, I stumbled upon a delicious looking chunk of raw milk Crater Lake blue cheese from Rogue Creamery in Oregon. Naturally, I bought both. Here's what I did with them.
I put a few slices of salame on the plate.. Just because I had it lying around.

For a piece of high-quality white-fleshed fish like haddock, there is no question in my mind of how to cook it: steam. Steamed products don't get all of their flavor leached out by the surrounding water in the way that poached ones so often do. And as much as I love a nice piece of fried or seared fish (such as fried catfish or Sole Meuniére), steamed fish does not lend any inevitable by-product flavors, which, though fascinating and delicious, are not what I was looking for in this dish. The potato was baked, but not conventionally. I had to get a little clever, but I did something quite interesting...

I start with half a stick of butter in an enameled iron pot over medium-low heat. Yes, it's a lot of butter, but most of it will get drained off later. To that I add 4 sliced onions and 8oz of washed young portabella mushrooms (which are actually the same species as white or button mushrooms [all three are Agaricus Bisporus], not much differs between these except color and potentially price), around a teaspoon of salt and 1/2 a teaspoon of black pepper and ground coriander. I cook that for about 15 minutes, when I notice that the onions are a translucent brown and my whole apartment smells like good dreams. I then add about 1/2 a cup of vegetable broth. Then, I plop the fillets, after having seasoned them with the same quantities of the same seasonings as before right on top of the whole mess, as pictured. I put the lid on my pot and let is cook for only about 5 minutes: nothing is worse than overcooked fish.

Now, before I started any of this haddock shenaniganage, I had started my potatoes. Days before, in fact. I had mad some roasted garlic, by which I mean i had poached some garlic in olive oil. I then forced that softened, sweetened garlic through a sieve to make a sort of garlic paste that I keep in my fridge. It's good on about anything. Back to the present, however. So I cut the potatoes in half, salted them, and spread the garlic paste on them. Then, I smoosh the halves back together and wrap them tightly in aluminum foil and bake a 375˚ for as long as it takes. When they're sufficiently cooked, I pulled the halves back apart, put a healthy chunk of blue cheese on each half, and baked for another 10 minutes at 400˚.

Before service, strain the onions and mushrooms over which the haddock was cooked, and serve. Damn good.

1/17/2011 10:19:10 pm

I love what you did with the potatoes! I'm going to try it. How about sweet potatoes with ginger paste?

1/18/2011 09:40:01 am

That is a brilliant combination, although I prefer to steam or boil sweet potatoes, I think they appreciate the extra moisture.


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