Fishy business: Make more of haddock
Curried, or paired with a dramatic sauce Nero, haddock has its day. Photographs: Harry Weir
Vanessa Greenwood’s haddock curry
Gary O’Hanlon’s haddock brandade with sauce Nero
VANESSA’S WAY: HADDOCK CURRY
Always one for enterprise, I was excited to hear that my cousin has just opened a fish shop in Stepaside, and I paid him a visit to buy the haddock for this recipe.
The new venture is a partnership with a well known family of fishmongers, the Rogersons. They have a number of shops, and most of the fish they stock are landed in seaside fishing villages such as Kilmore Quay in the south east of Ireland, and not shipped from further afield as many of us have gloomily come to expect.
Many fish shops are proud to display as much information as possible in their shops to reassure customers of both the provenance and fishing method used in the catch on display.
Supermarkets simply can’t give fish the delicate handling it requires, so it makes sense to visit a fishmonger. Remember to choose the freshest fish with firm, slippery skin and plump, shiny eyes.
GARY’S WAY: HADDOCK BRANDADE WITH SAUCE NERO
Fish and chips is the first thing that springs to mind when I hear haddock, or mention of Friday dinner. The fish man used to arrive at the gate at home in Ramelton and he had boxes of haddock and smoked haddock on board, as well as cream buns, which, come to think of it, was an odd combination.
Haddock can be more than fish and chips, though. Brandade is a Provençale dish of salt cod mixed into a puree with olive oil and milk. But I’m all for breaking the rules and I’m going to use haddock and fold it into a creamy mash and use that to crust our haddock. The key is to gently fold the haddock into the mash, so that you’ve nice little chunks of it visible for taste and texture on the portion of fish.