Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Quick and Colorful Friday

Fridays are always a toss of the coin when it comes to dinner. The fabulous M picked up some lovely haddock on his way home, but left it to me to figure out what to do with it. Well, with determination I ran to the local market close to work, hoping beyond hope that something inspirational would jump into my basket and bring along a few friends to complete a fast and yummy repast. I roamed among the beautiful greens and yellows of the green grocer department – and there it was – ta da - purple cauliflower! What will they think of next!!! How could I resist that regal looking crown shining amid the ordinary pale creams and odd looking green heads? I snatched up the last glorious head as well as some huge lemons and baby spinach – I had a plan now! Dinner came together in a snap and was not only tasty but nice to look at.

The color was a bit brighter than you see here. All and all - the price being the same - a nifty addition to a rather basic looking meal.

Easy Baked Haddock

Preheat Oven to 350ยบ

1.5lb Haddock (skinned)
1/2C Mayonnaise (recommended Miracle Whip Lite)
2C Prepared Herb stuffing (recommended Pepperidge Farm)
2 Lemons

Lightly oil a GLASS, or any non-metal baking dish, large enough to accommodate your fish. Set aside.

Process the stuffing in the food processor until fine and almost all the chunks are gone. You don’t want big pieces as we are not going to wet this crust very much and those bits can get mighty hard! You should end up with about a cup.

Place the fish, in the dish, edges touching; its okay to have a little wiggle room around the outside edge. Try to make the fish all the same depth even if it means folding the thinner bits under, this will help it to cook evenly. Brush the fish evenly with the mayo, use more if you need to. Salt and paper, then cover the fish evenly with the stuffing crumbs. Squeeze the juice from 1 ½ of the lemons over the stuffing. Reserve the other lemon half for serving.

Bake the fish until done. Yeah, I know I should give you a time. In my oven it only takes about 15 to 20 minutes, but I never really time it. You will start to smell the herbs from the stuffing when it is nearing doneness. Check after 15 minutes by pulling a small bit from the edge to see if it is white and the flakes stay whole. If it is and you have made your fish layer even it will all be done at this point, if you are worried check the middle as well. If you don’t feel its ready check it again in 5-7 minutes, you don’t want crumbly flakes because that will mean dry fish.Wasabi

Sweet Pepper Tartar Sauce

1C Mayonnaise (recommended Miracle Whip Lite)
2-3 T Sweet Pepper Relish (recommended Howard's)
1-2t Wasabi Powder (find this in the international foods at your market)
1-2t Warm Water
1/2t Lemon Juice

Mix enough of the water with the wasabi powder to make a thick paste - don't make soup. Let the paste rest a few minutes to develop the heat.

In a small bowl mix together half the mayo, lemon juice, wasabi paste, and half the relish. Taste and adjust the heat - or sweet - to your taste. I use all the relish and usually all the wasabi.

*Note: Fish is quick so be sure to prep your veggies first (we steam) and have them ready to turn on when you pop your fish in the oven. Toss your spinach with a little butter and white balsamic vinegar to give it a boost beyond the ordinary.

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