My friend Skip recently gifted me with a 10-pound box of fresh haddock filets. Haddock is a rare treat in our household, and I was excited for the opportunity to work with this nutritious fish and create some new recipes.
Back in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, populations of haddock, a whitefish related to cod, had diminished significantly. Those of us foodies that chose to eat more sustainably shunned the consumption of this ground fish that lives in 130 to 500 feet of water. I was delighted to learn that due to conservation efforts by both the Canadian and U. S. fisheries, haddock populations have increased, and the popular fish is abundant once again.
One of our favorite methods of haddock preparation is fried. Relatively simple to prepare; simply dredge the fillets in flour, then dip in a beaten egg batter and dredge again crumbs. Fry in an inch or so of hot oil heated to 375 degrees and serve with tartar sauce. Anything cooked in fat is delicious, but alas, for those of us watching the waistline, too high in calories.
Haddock is a great source of low-fat protein, and high in the trace minerals magnesium and selenium. I found that covering the fish with a tomato-based sauce, and baking it quickly at a moderately high temperature, locked in the slightly sweet flavor and preserved the flaky texture. This recipe allows for lots of creativity for the home cook; think of a spicy baked haddock with olives, capers and anchovies, or haddock with a basil-infused sauce. All preparations are tasty, and quite low in fat.
We portioned and froze the remainder of our haddock in small packages. The frozen packages of fillets defrost quickly in a bowl of warm water, and then make into an easy, go-to meal. Add your favorite rice or pasta, some sautéed spring greens and enjoy the fruits of the sea.
Mexican Baked Haddock
- 1 pound ¼haddock filet
- 1 cup Emily’s Taco Salsa
- Sea salt and fresh pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Select a pan that will fit the fish comfortably and grease it. Arrange the fish in a single layer in the pan, and sprinkle with sea salt and fresh pepper. Spoon the salsa over the fish and bake until the fish is just done. The internal temperature should reach 140 degrees and the fish should flake easily with a fork. It takes about 20 minutes to bake, but the time will vary according to the thickness of the fish.
- Serve with spicy rice and sautéed spinach. Makes 4 servings.