© Sukanya Rahman 2010

It doesn’t seem right to be facing a superbly fresh piece of haddock on your kitchen counter and lamenting: “Oh no! Not haddock again…” But in recent times haddock has been plentiful in Maine and so beautifully fresh you want to prepare it as simply as possible.

But as I stared at our third meal of haddock fillet in a week my taste buds were screaming for variety; something fast, something spicy, something that wouldn’t involve a lot of labor or washing of pots and pans.  I pulled out what ingredients I had on hand – what I generally have on had – and threw together the following alternative to broiled haddock.  The biggest chore was chopping up the ginger, garlic, scallions, cilantro and mint.  I put rice into the rice cooker, sautéed some frozen spinach, et voila! A succulent, spicy morsel of heaven in no time.

I have tried to recreate what I threw together. I confess I’m not one for faithfully following recipes. The portions below are approximations and if you try the recipe I hope, like me, you’ll play around with it each time… depending perhaps on what you might have lurking in the kitchen. For the lazy cook that I often am I have found keeping a jar of Thai red or green curry paste in the fridge a most versatile ingredient, especially when mixed with coconut milk. My apologies to connoisseurs of Thai cuisine who’ll be as horrified by this as I would be using ready made curry pastes for Indian cuisine.

Sukanya’s Spicy Haddock Fillet

2 Fresh haddock fillets (approx. 2 lbs)

1 inch chunk of fresh ginger chopped fine

3 Cloves of garlic chopped fine

1 Jalapeno pepper slivered lengthwise (or according to your tolerance)

2 Large tablespoons Thai red curry sauce

3 Tablespoons light soy sauce

1/4 Teaspoon of sugar

Juice of one Lime or lemon

Sprinkling of crushed red pepper

One cup coconut milk

Chopped scallions, cilantro and mint for garnish

Heat oven to 350 degrees

In a lightly greased baking dish, that will comfortably hold the fillets, place first 8 ingredients listed after the haddock,  and half the coconut milk and stir well. Add the haddock and spoon some of the sauce over the haddock. Marinate, covered, in the fridge until ready to cook.

Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes. Add remaining coconut milk to the sauce as needed and baste over fish to keep from drying.

Sprinkle with chopped garnish before serving.

Originally published in Art Insider on 06/05/2010

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