Simple and healthy, this baked Parmesan and Herb-Crusted Haddock recipe makes for a perfect weeknight dinner.
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 🙂
Parmesan and Herb-Crusted Haddock
For the Simple Roast Asparagus
- 1 lb asparagus spears woody ends trimmed or snapped off
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- Ched Prudhome's Veggie Magic seasoning substitute suggestions: garlic and herb seasoning or garlic powder
For the Parmesan and Herb-Crusted Haddock
- 1-½ lb haddock fish filets
- ½ cup plain panko breadcrumbs
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
- ½ tsp Herbs de Provence blend
- 1 Tbsp freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- pinch fresh cracked pepper
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp cream
- Heat oven to 400°F.
For the asparagus
- On a rimmed bake sheet, lay the asparagus. Drizzle with olive oil, and season well with salt, pepper, and the vegetable seasoning.
- Bake until spears are tender but not soft and tips are slightly charred, approximately 15 minutes at 400°F.
For the haddock
- While the asparagus spears are cooking, prepare the fish. Lay the haddock out on a bake sheet, skin-side down.
- In a small bowl, combine the Dijon and cream. Brush the top of the fish with the Dijon-cream mixture.
- Separately in a bowl, combine the panko breadcrumbs, 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 400°F 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.