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Buttery Baked Haddock with Spring Vegetables, Lemon and Cream Sauce

Baked Haddock with Spring Vegetables and Lemon

I made this for a dinner party while at my sister's recently and was amused by the fact that everyone raved about how light and springlike the dish was. All I could think about were the copious amounts of butter and cream used in the sauce! This is definitely a special occasion or treat recipe, but well worth making especially for guests who will feel pampered and who will ooh and aah.

This recipe will serve four people, with enough left over for lunch for one. I served this in deep soup bowls over pearl couscous, but you couldn't go wrong with lots of crusty bread for dipping instead of the couscous.

4 large pieces of wild Icelandic haddock, halved

1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed

1 bunch radishes, topped and tailed and halved

1 cup peas, fresh or frozen English peas

1 bunch tarragon

2 lemons, preferably Meyer lemons

1/2 cup of white wine or Champagne

1 Tbsp dry Vermouth

1 stick of unsalted butter

1 pint heavy cream

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375.

Slice one of the lemons into 8 thin slices (discard the end pieces and the seeds.) Remove the tarragon leaves from the stems.

Salt and pepper the fish pieces generously on all sides and place them in an oven safe dish. Top each of the pieces with a few sprigs of tarragon, a slice of lemon, and a piece of butter equivalent to about half a tablespoon's worth jauntily placed on each lemon slice.

Pour the white wine or Champagne gingerly into the bottom of the dish. Cover and bake for 12-15 minutes depending on the thickness of your fish.

While it is cooking, get on with making your sauce.

Add the butter, tarragon and Vermouth to a sauce pan and heat over low until the butter is melted and starting to bubble at the edges.

Increase the heat to high and pour in the cream. Let bubble away until reduced by half and thickened.

Add the vegetables to the pan and lower the heat. Cook for five to eight minutes, depending on how al dente you like your vegetables.

By this time, the fish should be ready.

Gingerly remove each piece of lemon-topped fish to a serving dish. Once this is done, add the juice from the fish dish to the pan containing the vegetables and sauce. Stir to combine and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the vegetables from the sauce and place them around the fish pieces. Half the remaining lemon and squeeze it over the fish and vegetables.

Give the cream sauce a quick stir and spoon generously over the fish and vegetables. Serve any remaining sauce on the side.


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