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Haddock loves a simple approach

News-Times, News-Times
Published 8:00 pm, Tuesday, August 14, 2007
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While haddock certainly is wonderful after an elaborate battering and deep frying, it is equally good drizzled with oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper, baked until flakey and finished with a squeeze of lemon.

For something in between, try baking fillets at 425 F after a quick dredge through a mix of equal parts mayonnaise and mustard and a dusting of bread crumbs. And the mayonnaise can be soy or low-fat without compromising the results.

If you'd prefer to work on top of the stove, do a quick saute of onions and dried cranberries in olive oil in a large skillet. Once the onions just begin to soften, place the haddock fillets on top, cover the pan and cook over medium heat until done.

Food writer Aliza Green, author of the comprehensive "Field Guide to Seafood," says haddock's tender flesh and mild flavor pair well with bacon, butter, thyme and white wine.

So why not combine them all? In large skillet, cook several slices of bacon. After several minutes, place haddock fillets over the bacon, cover the skillet and cook until the fish slakes and the bacon is crisp.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan combine a couple tablespoons of butter, a healthy splash of white wine and a tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves. Simmer until reduced. To serve, crumble bacon over the haddock and drizzle with the sauce.

Or try this simple grilled haddock recipe, which tops fillets with an almost effortless cooked salsa. The recipe calls for garlic-stuffed green olives, but any variety would work.

Grilled Haddock With Green Olive Salsa

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 1/2 pounds haddock fillets

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 small red onion, diced

12 large garlic-stuffed green olives, diced

12 cherry tomatoes

1. If you have a fish grilling basket, give it a light coating of cooking spray. Otherwise, place a large sheet of foil on the grill grate and coat it lightly with cooking spray. Preheat the grill to high.

2. Use 2 tablespoons of the oil to drizzle over both sides of the haddock fillets, then season them with salt and pepper.

3. Place the fillets either in the grilling basket or on the foil, close the grill cover and cook 6 to 8 minutes, or until the fish is opaque through the center and easily flakes when touched with a fork. There is no need to flip the fillets.

4. While the fish cooks, in a small saucepan combine the remaining olive oil, onion, green olives and tomatoes. Saute 7 to 8 minutes, or until the tomatoes begin to break down and the onions are just tender.

5. To serve, spoon some of the olive salsa over each portion of haddock.

Notes: Start to finish 20 minutes ... serves 4