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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

rolled, stuffed Haddock with an artichoke lemon sauce

My favorite way to cook fish is to make a stuffing and roll it up.  My stuffing usually consists of bread crumbs, crushed Ritz crackers, garlic powder, onion powder, some melted butter, and then some fresh spinach, mushrooms, and parsley.  There is just something about that combination that tastes so delicious.  I found some nice small flat pieces of haddock which looked like they would be easy to stuff and roll.  

I started by chopping up half of a Vidalia onion.  I added 3 ribs of celery and sauteed until they were tender.  In the meantime, I made up 2 cups of Pepperidge Farm stuffing, according to the package.  Combine everything together and add in about 1/2 teaspoon of  garlic powder, some salt and pepper, and about a half teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning.  I crushed up 1/2 of a sleeve of Ritz crackers and threw them in.  Taste the stuffing to make sure you can taste every bit of the seasoning.  If you think the garlic is too strong, just tone it down by adding some extra breadcrumbs or more crackers.  It's all about getting the flavor just right.

The last two ingredients to go in were some fresh spinach and some of this delicious lump crab meat I found in my freezer....

Take a piece of fish, place the stuffing on top and gently roll up.

Dot with butter and bake in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes.

The last touch I wanted to add was a little bit of sauce.   You honestly don't need this, but I happen to like fish with a little sauce on it, so.....  I combined about 3-4 artichoke hearts, about 1/2 cup of olive oil,   1/2 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, and 1/4 cup of lemon juice.         
 Another good sauce for fish is to mix some mayonnaise with your favorite mustard.  Spread it over the fish during the last 5 minutes of cooking.  Sometimes throwing the broiler on will give it a nice finish.

I want to explain something that is hopefully useful here.  Any of these dishes that I make can be personalized..... what I mean is, you can change ingredients, depending on what you have on hand.  If, for example,  you don't have fresh spinach, you could use frozen, or none at all!  You could use arugula if that's what you have!  No crab meat?  Skip it or maybe add something else....maybe ham or pepperoni?  Be adventurous!   If you are not sure how it will taste, just take a small amount of the stuffing, try adding something and taste it.  If you don't like it, try something else.  There is no right or wrong way to cook. It's all about the flavors.

Sometimes I will read 10-15 recipes and take a few ingredients from each and put them all together.  Other times, I just know what I feel like eating and tasting, and make it happen.  What is always so useful is to make sure you keep certain key ingredients on hand.  In my case, that would be things like artichoke hearts, coconut milk, Parmesan cheese, fresh greens, and meats such as Italian sausage, ground turkey, or chicken breasts.  

I hope you will send me a message if you ever have any questions or comments.  I would love to know what you think!

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