With all the cooking we’ve been doing during COVID – no eating out and much less take-out than during “normal” life – it’s been a tricky exercise to find interesting and relatively healthy meals 7 nights a week, week after week, month after month.
Since David is a pescatarian, options of what we can enjoy together are limited. I’d love to share a big, juicy steak with him, or lamb chops, or brisket, or a big basket of fried chicken…you get the idea…but none of this is going to happen.
Therefore, I made the decision that I’m going to have to expand what I’ll have for dinner to include more of what he’ll eat, which would mean either tofu (ummmm….no thanks) or fish…so I chose fish. Even though I don’t love it, I don’t hate it either, and it’s certainly healthier and more nutritious than the dishes I named above.
While Lauren and Anas have been staying with us, David’s made killer salmon and branzino. One night, we discussed what else we’d like to try when fish night rolls around again.
David had mentioned a memorable halibut dish he had at an Italian restaurant called Ports of Italy in Boothbay Harbor, Maine (you’ll never guess what I had that night?!?!?) so everyone agreed to give it a shot.
Lauren put it on her next Fresh Direct order, and we all looked forward to it.
David made the fish with a buttery wine sauce that was delicious. Since it is an extremely mild fish, it is essentially a blank slate for any kind of coating, thereby lending itself to endless possibilities for its preparation.
As David ate the fish, he said he didn’t recall the restaurant’s halibut tasting quite the same, although both are white, flaky fish. The fact that David used a wine sauce and Ports of Italy presented the halibut encrusted in nuts could have explained the contrast in overall flavor.
When dinner was over, Lauren had a funny feeling that maybe she hadn’t ordered halibut after all; perhaps she had checked off a different fish.
Turns out it was haddock she had ordered, not halibut! After all that talk about how good the halibut was, it wasn’t even halibut. Had she not examined the order after the fact, we would never have known that we were eating haddock, a fish none of us had ever made before.
Here it was…a mistake, of sorts…and yet it was exactly what we were looking for in a fish.
I did some research on haddock because it seemed too good to be true. I learned that it is the fish primarily used for fish and chips (along with cod) which for a long time was the only fish I’d eat (with tartar sauce, of course). It’s also low in calories and high in protein…who could ask for more?
Haddock also helps with digestion and skin, makes stronger bones, reduces bad cholesterol, assists with the prevention of cancer, reduces stress, relaxes muscle, has high levels of B vitamins and is low in mercury…among other pluses.
Unfortunately, it is high in sodium, but what the heck…it seems as close to a perfect food as one could hope for.
Since then, we’ve had haddock 3 more times, with David’s nut experimentation of pistachios, cashews and peanuts. Hats off to the chef!
Additionally, haddock is 1/3 the price of halibut ($11.99/lb. for haddock vs. $29.99/lb. for halibut)!
How often does an error turn out to be such a satisfying surprise?