Last week, I told you about my college days, those first years on my own, and having to fend for myself in the kitchen not yet knowing how to cook. And I brought you my Copycat Sour Cream and Chive Pasta Roni, my take (a-hem.. and obviously better cuz real food always wins) on the boxed stuff. But I also mentioned that the other half of that so-easy-to-make-even-I-could-make-it meal was the fish. Battered, fried, God-knows-what-kindof-fish filets from the freezer – this was the early 90s, companies didn’t have to tell us what was in our food then …oh, wait…
I love fish. Actually, I leerrrve fish. I grew up eating fish all the time – cod, haddock, flounder. All. The. Time. And other seafood like clams and lobstah, cuz in Beantown that’s how we roll. Oddly enough, we rarely had shrimp, mussels, or salmon – all of which I cook all the time now because that’s what’s available for a reasonable price where I live, along with grouper and snapper and any fish my husband manages to sometimes catch (love you hon’!). ….But when haddock goes on sale, like it did this week, you can betcha bad self I’ll be cooking haddock.
If you’ve never had haddock, it is very similar to flounder in flavor, maybe a touch more assertive. It is eaten with the skin on and is a beautiful, mild, white fish. It cooks super fast and is very easy to overcook – at which point it will become mushy. So the best ways to prepare it are just to keep it simple – a quick bake or broil. Maybe sauce it up with a little au gratin or lobster sauce if you are so inclined. It is a very tasty, very light, healthy fish.
So, to tackle this second half of my little inner challenge to have that throw-back to my college days on a plate, I went with haddock. But I didn’t want to fry it – I baked, topped with a herby, crunchy topping. Because everything is better with a herby, crunchy topping n’est-ce pa? And this way, I got my luscious crispy fish, but kept it totally healthy.
…And to keep this meal light, I served up some simple roast asparagus! I included that below too as a bonus because you all rawk 🙂
- 1-1/2 lb haddock fish filets
- 1/2 c plain panko breadcrumbs
- 1 T chopped fresh chives
- 1 T chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 t Herbs de Provence
- 1 T freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1/2 t kosher salt
- couple pinches fresh cracked pepper
- 1 T extra virgin olive oil
- 1 T dijon mustard
- 2 T cream
- 1 lb asparagus spears, woody ends trimmed or snapped off
- extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- Ched Prudhome's Veggie Magic seasoning (garlic and herb seasoning would work too, or a pinch of garlic powder)
- Heat oven to 400F.
- Lay the haddock out on a bake sheet, skin-side down (I lined with foil for easy clean-up).
- In a small bowl, combine the dijon and cream. Brush the top of the fish with the dijon-cream mixture. This is what we're using to get the crumbs to stick.
- Separately in a bowl, combine the panko, chives. parsley, Herbs de Provence, parmesan, salt, and pepper. Stir in the olive oil. Transfer to a plate.
- Take each fish filet, invert, and press the side brushed with the dijon-cream mixture into the panko-herb mixture. Place back on the bake sheet, skin-side down and panko-coated top up. Bake at 400F for 5 minutes. Remove fish from the oven, switch to broil, and broil the fish briefly, 1 inch from the heat, until fish flakes easily with a fork and crumb topping is lightly browned. Yield: 4 servings.
- On a rimmed bake sheet, lay the asparagus. Drizzle over a little olive oil (approximately a couple teaspoons ...yep, I'm being vague), and season well with salt, pepper, and the vegetable seasoning. Bake until spears are al dente and tips are slightly charred, ~15 minutes at 400F.