Blood oranges are in season, and they lend a tangy burst of flavor to a simple piece of fish, or a brick of tofu!
I’m always delighted to find the beautiful blood oranges when they are in season. Their vibrancy is stunning, and their flavor is a zesty pop of freshness in the winter kitchen. Cutting into one always makes me smile, and they taste as sweet and lively as they look.
A New England staple
Wild haddock is a New England staple. The fish is carefully controlled to prevent over-fishing, and that is good news for sustainability. It has a sweet, white flesh, cooks quickly, and lends itself to a variety of cooking techniques, including fish and chips, which is one of my cheats when I go to the shore!
A gentle poach
I decided to poach the fish gently with aromatics in a broth made from the juice of the oranges, a little white wine, and some water. The fish will add even more flavor to the broth as it cooks. If you don’t want to use wine, you can use fish or vegetable stock, or more orange juice.
I love using seaweed flakes in dishes with fish or shellfish. I use a blend of pulse, laver, and sea lettuce that I get in Maine. The flakes add an extra little interest to the dish, and some natural salt.
Light and refreshing, this is a really quick dinner, and it is beautiful enough for entertaining! It is equally as delicious using extra-firm tofu instead of the fish! In this alternative, add more of the seaweed flakes while the tofu is poaching.
Haddock Poached with Blood Oranges
1 lb. wild haddock
3 or 4 blood oranges
2 tbsp. coconut oil
1 leek, sliced
1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, sliced
2 tsp. tarragon, minced
1 large bay leaf, fresh if possible
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup thawed frozen edamame or peas
1 scallion, thin slice on diagonal
1 red pepper, sweet or hot, thinly sliced
1 tsp. seaweed flakes, more or less
Cut the haddock into four portions, lightly salt and pepper, and set aside.
Prep your oranges. Remove all the peelings and pith underneath. Slice one of the peeled oranges and reserve those for garnish. Remove the segments of the rest by using a very sharp knife to slice on both sides of the membrane, popping the segment out. Do this in a strainer set over a bowl to save all the juice. Once the orange is segmented, squeeze any extra of the juice from the carcass. Add the juice to a measuring cup and fill with water to the cup line. Set the juice and segments aside.
In a large skillet, over medium high, heat the oil and add the leek and fennel. Cook until the vegetables are tender and add the yellow pepper, tarragon, and bay. Let this cook for about a minute, then deglaze the pan with the wine and reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the juice/water, and mix everything together well. Season with salt and pepper.
Nestle the fish filets in the vegetables, cover, and cook for about 8 minutes, or until the fish just starts to flake.
Carefully remove the fish from the pan and tent to keep warm.
Add the orange segments and the edamame to the pan, and warm through.
Plate the vegetables and broth on a deep serving dish, and gently place the fish on top. Sprinkle with the seaweed, scallions, and red pepper for color.
Vegan alternative: Tofu Poached with Blood Oranges
You can also make this dish substituting extra firm tofu for the fish. Just follow the directions exactly using the tofu, adding more of the seafood flakes along with the juice and wine.
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