They say haddock is the ‘poor man’s halibut’ but I don’t agree with that at all. With the average price of halibut going for about $20/pound, I wanted to compare the two on the grill. I’m a big fan of halibut but it’s hard to enjoy my dinner at that price.
If you’ve noticed, the restaurants tend to agree. You won’t see halibut on the menus as frequently as you once did and finding fresh halibut in the grocery store is not always easy. My grocery store,(which is the biggest chain in Canada), had neither fresh nor frozen halibut this week.
Haddock is a very popular fish and can be fried, baked, seared, grilled, smoked and basically stands up to whatever you want to do to it. Along with cod, it’s one of England’s favourite to use with fish and chips. Although those are delicious, I think a simple grilling is a good way to keep the calories down and enjoy the natural flavours. Having said that, this recipe could also be used to sear or bake the fish.
I did a simple rub of garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, a wee bit of cinnamon and here’s the kicker – Cajun seasoning . As I’ve said before, I like some heat in my food and this really moved it up a notch.
Rub the seasonings into the fish but don’t manhandle it. Fish are fickle and if you’re too rough with them, they’ll turn rubbery. The same goes for the cooking process – don’t mess with it too much. Let the heat of the grill/oven/pan do the work and turn it over just once. It’s quick and easy – about 4 minutes per side on the grill/pan and in the oven it will take between 12 and 16 minutes at 400F.
To accompany the fish, I put together a fun little fruity salad using mache rosettes (just a fancy word for microgreens). The dressing is a simple blend of lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper. I added some basil and mint leaves to the mix and I loved the extra bite of flavour they provided.
If you’re not already including this on your family’s menu, I recommend giving it a try. The fish was flaky, moist and just as tasty as halibut. This is no ‘poor man’s’ meal – it was a mouthwatering treat for the senses.
Grilled Haddock with Fruity Mache Rosette Salad
kiwi, peeled and diced
•1/4 English cucumber, diced
• 1 cup of fresh blueberries
•3 cups fresh strawberries, halved through the stem and thinly sliced
•Juice 1/2 lemon
•1 tbsp olive oil
•Pinch each sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, plus additional to taste
•4 6-oz haddock fillets
•1 clove garlic, minced
•1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
•1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper
•Olive oil cooking spray
•1/3 loosely packed cup torn fresh basil leaves
•1/3 loosely packed cup torn fresh mint leaves
•6 cups assorted microgreens
In a large bowl, combine kiwi, cucumber, strawberries, blueberries, lemon juice, oil, salt and black pepper, to taste. Cover and set aside.
Season haddock on all sides with lemon juice, garlic, cinnamon, cayenne and pinch each salt and black pepper, gently rubbing spices into fish. Heat your grill or skillet to medium-high and mist with cooking spray. Add haddock and cook, turning once, for 4 minutes per side, just until flaky and opaque throughout. (Oven method: 12 – 16 min at 400F) Remove from heat, cover and set aside.
Add basil and mint to kiwi mixture and toss to combine. To serve, divide microgreens among serving plates. Top with haddock and kiwi mixture, dividing evenly.