This complete recipe is a variation of the classic British dish that is fish, chips and peas, remaining true to the concept but with several additional little twists in the preparation and the serving style. Haddock is a fish native principally to the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea. It is a member of the cod family and the good news is that virtually any firm fleshed white fish could be substituted in this recipe where the specific species is not available. Haddock and cod lend themselves well to the addition of robust flavors such as chili powder and both work very well with similarly intensely flavored accompaniments.
Spicy pan fried haddock fillets are served with crispy cheese and chili wedges and snow peas
Note that snow peas, sugar snap peas, mangetout (meaning literally in French, "eat everything") are effectively immature peas where the pod is eaten as well as the little peas inside. Fully mature peas in their pods would be unlikely to be quite so nice to eat in this fashion.
Ingredients (Serves 1)
- 1 medium to large baking potato
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil (2 each for wedges and frying fish)
- 2 teaspoons chili powder, plus a little extra for seasoning fish
- Black pepper
- 2 fresh haddock (or similar) boneless fillets, skin on
- 2 tablespoons all purpose (plain) flour
- Generous handful snow peas (mangetout)
- 2 tablespoons freshly shredded/grated hard cheese
- 1 medium size and strength red chili
Wash the potato very well, scrubbing it if necessary, but don't peel it. Cut it in half length ways and cut each half in to four equal sized wedges. Put the wedges in to a pot of cold water and allow to steep for ten to fifteen minutes to get rid of the excess starch.
Drain the wedges and add them to a pot of fresh cold water. Season with a little salt. Put on a high heat to reach a simmer. Reduce the heat and continue to simmer for about seven or eight minutes, just until you can see the skin beginning to separate from the flesh at the tips. Drain again and leave to steam off for five or ten minutes.
Lay the wedges in a plastic dish, in a single layer, and put the dish in to the fridge for a minimum half hour.
Start your oven preheating to 400F/200C/Gas Mark 6.
Pour two tablespoons of the vegetable oil in to a large stone or glass bowl. Season with one teaspoon of the chili powder, as well as some salt and pepper. Stir well to ensure the seasonings are evenly combined in the oil.
Take the wedges straight from the fridge and lay them in the bowl with the oil. It is important to carefully fold them through the oil with a wooden spoon rather than simply stir them or it is likely they will break.
Lay the wedges on one side on a roasting tray and put the tray in to the oven for twenty to twenty-five minutes, turning them with tongs half way through cooking.
You should start to prepare the haddock fillets when the wedges have been turned and put back in the oven. Do note it is vital for this precise cooking method that the skin remain in place or the likelihood is that the fish will break up in to flakes as it cooks.
Scatter the flour on a large dinner plate and season with the second teaspoon of chili powder, some salt and pepper.
Pat the haddock fillets in the seasoned flour on their skin sides only. Season the flesh sides with a scattering of chili powder, salt and pepper.
Pour a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil in to a non-stick frying pan and bring it up to a medium to high heat. Gently shake any excess flour from the haddock fillets and lay them skin sides down in the pan. Fry for around three minutes until you can see they are cooked almost but not quite all the way through. At that stage, reduce the heat to low and carefully turn the fillets with a fish slice or large spatula to complete cooking on their flesh sides. This will only take about a minute.
The snow peas should be added to a pot of simmering salted water and blanched for a couple of minutes only before being drained at your sink through a colander.
The cheese used in this instance is an English cheese called Red Leicester but any similar type of cheese will work equally well, with cheddar in particular being ideal.
Grate the cheese in to your washed and dried bowl from earlier. Seed and finely dice the chili before adding it to the cheese with some black pepper. Stir to evenly combine.
Take the wedges from the oven and lift them with cooking tongs in to the bowl with the cheese. Turn them through the cheese with a wooden spoon. The residual heat will partly melt the cheese and cause it to stick with the chili pieces to the wedges.
Lift the haddock fillets on to a square serving plate, laying them skin sides up.
Add the cheesy chili wedges and the snow peas alongside the fish fillets.
You should find that the fish skin has crisped up nicely to the extent that it can easily be peeled free in whole pieces, if necessary with the slight assistance of the blunt edge of a knife.