Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Sample recipe from The Spice Cookbook: Baked fillet of haddock with sesame seed crumbs

This book, while it is full of tempting recipes, is unfortunately of the type that assumes that can and packet sizes are the same everywhere and at every time.

This is a fallacy. An envelope of dry yeast is not the same size in Europe as it is in the USA, and the USA envelope sizes may have changed since the book was published (can sizes may have done so too), yet the book is touted in the introduction as a future heirloom. Additionally, there are shortcuts in the book using ingredients that may not be available to everyone, such as onion flakes. This is an annoying, but not insurmountable, problem for a foreign cook using the book four decades after it was first published.

Rant over. Let’s turn back to the recipe. Sesame seed with fish sounds faintly oriental, except no glazing or exotic spices are involved, just baking under a layer of crumbs.

700 g (1 1/2 lbs.) fillet of haddock
A dash of salt
6 pats of butter or margarine
3 cups soft bread crumbs
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbs toasted sesame seeds*
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted

*To toast sesame seeds, place them in a shallow baking pan and heat in a preheated oven at about 175°C (350°F) for 20 to 22 minutes, stirring 2-3 times to ensure even toasting.

Cut fish into 6 even-sized pieces and arrange in a buttered 23 cm (9 inch) square baking pan. Rub a dash of salt lightly over each piece and dot each with a pat of butter.

Combine the remaining ingredients and cover the fish lightly with the mixture. Bake at 175°C (350°F) for 25-30 minutes or until bread crumbs are browned. Serve hot.

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