The first step in braising haddock is to make the lemon rosemary vinaigrette. The ingredients are pretty simple - just white vinegar, lemon juice, rosemary, salt, pepper, and olive oil. The main thing to remember when making vinaigrette is to whisk and drizzle in the EVOO slowly, so it doesn’t break. Simple.
Step two was to prepare the Brussels sprouts. I had a choice here. I could save myself a bit of time and get the Brussels sprouts that were already in a bag, or I could take them off of this…branch? I went with the branch. First, the bagged Brussels sprouts really wouldn’t save me that much time, and quite frankly, the ones on the branch looked a heck of a lot fresher.
|Isn't this cool?|
I went with the Brussels sprouts because I had only had them once before, and didn’t like them, so I wanted to see if I could improve on what I had eaten. Also, they are a fall / winter vegetable, so I thought it would be a good fit. And, aside from all that, they are pretty healthy. Low calorie, good amount of fiber, and they offer protection against prostate, colon, and endometrial cancers. You can read about them on the “Nutrition and You” website here.
After taking them off the branch, you need to peal the outer leaves until the lighter green leaves appear. Then, simply put some extra virgin olive oil on them, along with some Kosher salt and fresh pepper, and roast them in a 400 degree oven. One note here: Last time I roasted vegetables, you may remember I felt I used too much oil, because they came out greasy. This time I only used 1½ tablespoons and it was the perfect amount. I actually combined two recipes for this: a Paula Dean recipe and an Ina Garten recipe.
Now, as for the fish, the first step was roasting a red bell pepper, so I put it on the burner until the skin had started to burn and then I put it into a zip top bag, so the skin would loosen. Then I took the skin off, cut off the top, took out the seeds, and then cut the pepper into strips.
Next, I peeled a lemon. First time I ever did that, and it came out pretty good. Then I cut the lemon into segments.
Now, as for the actual cooking, first I had to get the skin on the fish crispy, so I cooked it in a tablespoon of EVOO over medium heat. 3½ minutes later, the fish gave itself up and I took it out of the pan. Quite frankly, I still don’t have the crispy skin thing right. I need to keep working on that.
Then, I took the fish out, wiped the pan out, and let it cool slightly. Then, in went the bell pepper and the lemon segments, and the lemon-rosemary vinaigrette, but just enough to come up the sides of the pepper strips. Then I nestled the fish into the vinaigrette and brought the heat up to a simmer. All the while, I was also turning the Brussels sprouts.
|Two problems: First, the skin is not crispy. Second, corn starch got into the picture.|
Time to eat. First, I took out the Brussels sprouts and put them in a bowl. They were a bit browner than I would have liked, but I looked at some videos of roasting Brussels sprouts on YouTube, and for the most part, they were brown and not green. Not as attractive as I had hoped...I roasted them for 35 minutes…I think 30 would have been fine. Once in the bowl, I sprinkled some chopped lemon zest on them.
I plated the fish…one piece flat and then the second piece leaning up against it, and put the Brussels sprouts next to them. I then poured a bit of the cooked vinaigrette, the lemon segments, and the bell pepper strips onto the fish.
How did everything taste? Well, the fish was flakey and moist, but still was ever so slightly firm. Definitely a nice lemony flavor, with just a little contrast from the bell pepper. Cathy ate every bite, so I consider that a success.
As for the Brussels sprouts, I liked them. They were a bit crunchy on the outside, and soft, but not mushy on the inside, with a slight lemon taste that came from the vinaigrette and the lemon zest. Cathy however, was not a fan. I would eat them again, but I don’t think I would go out of my way to eat them. Still, I’m glad I tried them.
This meal was approximately 351 calories, 14.3 grams of fat of which all but 3 grams were from the EVOO, so it was good fat.