Saturday, June 5, 2010

Poached Fish in Milk

Well this was a little experiment that went very well. Many moons ago when I worked as a kitchen assistant we often poached smoked haddock in milk and served it on a bed of wilted spinach. The poaching liquor was turned into a lovely thick sauce that was then poured over top. Yesterday I made a variation of this yummy dish.

Having moved to Canada I find it hard to find smoked haddock. There is plenty of smoked salmon around but I wanted that reminiscing feeling of a soft white fish.  So I bought some frozen haddock fillets and to get that lovely smoky flavor I bought a packet of kippers (smoked mackerel) and used them in the poaching liquor (milk). A sprinkle of black peppercorns, a few bay leaves and a pinch of saffron was also thrown in. This was gently simmered in the oven for 30-40 minutes, then served with peas and bacon and two soft poached eggs. Yum yum!!!

The memories came flooding back and I loved every piece of it.  I love to cook especially when the flavors turn out awesome. This recipe is a keeper. Next time I'm going to have it piled on a huge bowl of creamy mashed potato with the reduced cooking liquor poured over top and a sprinkling of parsley. A huge bowl of comfort!!!!

Poached Fish in Milk (Serves 2)

2 Haddock Fillets
1 Kipper
3 Bay Leaves
8 Black Peppercorns
Small Pinch of saffron
Enough Milk to nearly cover the fish
Salt (if required, I found the kipper made the fish salty enough for me)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a large lasagna dish place the fish in single layers and just about cover the fish with the milk. Add the bay leaves, peppercorns and saffron and allow to stand for 10 minutes before placing in the oven. I used frozen fish so the cooking time was slightly longer than if I had used fresh fish. I checked the fish at 20 minutes and turned the haddock over and cooked it for a further 20 minutes. Once the fish turned opaque it was cooked. I discarded the smoked mackerel, but there is nothing to stop you from serving both.

You can serve this fish in many ways from just a knob of butter over top to a reduction of the strained cooking liquor. If you like a thick sauce make a bechamel sauce using the poaching liquor.


  1. I Love the sound of this - I love kippers. I think I would really enjoy it over the mash, rather than with the bacon and eggs.
    Mmmmm, mouth is watering, just thinking about it.

  2. I have been looking for this exact recipe - i'm trying it in 10 min hope it works for me because it sounds so gooooood