I'm forever hearing people whine and complain about the difficulty of making chicken exciting. Friends, I'm right there with you on the bland bird. But I also find that fish can be rather challenging too. I know, I know...I pretty much never admit when cooking poses an "issue." But, believe it or not, even this girl has those nights when coming up with a creative and appealing dish is painful. And as someone who tries to eat primarily poultry and seafood, I've got to seriously pick my brain for inspiration because as you know, I'm not really one to follow someone else's recipe...unless of course, it's like mouth-watering, drool all over the keyboard, good. And even then, I usually change things up a bit for my own taste and cooking style.
So when it comes to cooking a mild white fish, I have my go-to preparations. I'm either blackening and sautéing the stuff, marinating and throwing it on the grill, or on a total cheat night - deep frying it in some good ole fashioned fish-fry batter. I stuff it in tacos and bake it in parchment on occasion too. But my fish gastronomy talent ends there.
Then nights like this one happen. I stay up in bed, tossing and turning unable to fall asleep. Chris is dead to the world and making silly noises with his mouth. My cats are scurrying through the hallway doing whatever they can to annoy me. So...I daydream in the dark about recipes I can make to share with all of you. Just a couple of weeks ago, I had one of those nights. And I dreamed up this delicious beauty.
Pretzel crusted haddock drizzled in a mustardy, buttery, wine sauce served alongside roasted garlic Peruvian purple potatoes. Oh how I love those potatoes but I had never tried them mashed. And pretzels are one of my most-loved indulgent packaged snacks. Adding a mustard sauce was a given. I mean, pretzels and mustard are a match made in...baseball heaven. With the idea in my head, I bought the ingredients just a few days later. Let me tell you, this concoction was relatively simple and made for one eye-catching presentation. We both scarfed down that dinner and approving head nods were definitely happening from the first forkful to the very last morsel bite.
Pretzel Crusted Haddock with a Dijon Wine Sauce and Roasted Garlic Mashed Purple Potatoes
For the fish:
2 haddock filets
1 cup crushed pretzels (crushed in processor or using your mallet with pretzels in zip-lock)
1/2 cup flour
1 egg, lightly whisked with 1/4 cup water or milk
3 tablespoons Grape seed oil (or oil with high burning point)
2 teaspoons salt
For the Sauce:
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup wine
1 tablespoon chopped chive (optional)
For the Potatoes:
8-10 Peruvian purple potatoes
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
3-6 medium cloves roasted garlic, (depending on how much you love garlic)
3 teaspoons salt
1) Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the purple potatoes (no need to cut them up since they're so small)
2) Pat your fish filets dry with a paper towel and sprinkle each filet with a teaspoon of salt and a sprinkling of pepper. Get your dredging dishes ready. In one shallow dish or pan, add the 1/2 cup flour. In another dish, add the whisked egg, and in the last dish, add the crushed pretzels.
3) Bring three tablespoons grape seed oil to medium heat in a large non-stick pan. Dredge your fish in the flour, then dip it in the egg, and then in the pretzels. Add the pretzel crusted fish to the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from heat and place on paper towel.
4) While the fish is cooking, bring a small saucepan to medium heat with 1 tablespoon butter. When melted, add the shallot. Cook for 4-5 minutes until softened. Add another tablespoon butter and let melt. Mix in the flour until completely combined. Then, add the dijon and the wine and whisk until smooth and the alcohol has been cooked off the wine. Drizzle on top of the fish. Sprinkle with chive (if desired).
4) Drain your purple potatoes and add butter, milk, salt, and pepper. Mince the roasted garlic (or you can buy the stuff already minced) and add that to the pot too. Mash with potato masher or hand-held mixer. Add more milk if needed for texture.