Finnan haddie, which comes from the Scottish village of Findon (pronounced finnan), is haddock that is filleted, salted and then hung over a combination of burning peat and hardwoods.
After 12 hours of controlled smoking, the haddock develops a deep golden color and absorbs a delicate, slightly smoky flavor. If it were more expensive, gourmets might rank it with the finest Scottish smoked salmon.
Finnan haddie can be poached, grilled, broiled or baked, and it can be used for making salads, fish pa te's and terrines, as well as for mousses and casseroles. It can also be mixed with potatoes to make fish cakes or hash.
Whenever possible, buy fresh finnan haddie. For simple poaching, broiling, or grilling, small whole fillets or the tail piece are best. If the finnan haddie is to be sliced or flaked, the center cut is best. Generally it is not advisable to buy the head end of the fish as it often has not been filleted completely, and the texture is variable -- often dry. If using frozen finnan haddie, defrost overnight in the refrigerator, then use as though it were fresh. POACHED FINNAN HADDIE (4 servings)
Finnan haddie fillets, poached in milk and accompanied by boiled potatoes and slices of crisp bacon, are a classic English breakfast. Add some scrambled eggs to the combination and you have an exciting new weekend breakfast for the family or a simple-to-prepare Sunday brunch menu. 2 cups milk 4 6-ounce finnan haddie fillets
Place the milk in a pan large enough to hold the finnan haddie in a single layer (a broiling pan works well for this). Bring to a boil over medium heat, then add the fish in a single layer and pour in enough very hot tap water for the fish fillets to be completely immersed. Return to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the fish is cooked through, about 4 minutes for thin fillets, 6-to-8 minutes for thicker pieces of haddock. If using frozen finnan haddie, place the fish in the boiling milk while still frozen and double the cooking time. BROILED FINNAN HADDIE (4 servings)
This elegant first course of broiled slices of finnan haddie with herb butter takes only about 5 minutes to prepare and serve. 1 pound finnan haddie, preferably centercut 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon or parsley, chopped 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice Freshly ground black pepper
Heat the broiler.
Cut the finnan haddie into slices about 1/4-inch thick. Rub a baking sheet with about a teaspoon of the butter and arrange the fish on the pan in a single layer.
Combine the remaining butter, the herbs and lemon juice and mix well. Season generously with pepper. Spread this herb butter evenly over the fish and place on a shelf 2-to-3 inches below the heated broiling unit.
Cook only until the fish becomes opaque, about 3 minutes. Arrange the slices on warm plates (use dark colored plates, if possible), spoon some of the juices from the baking pan onto the fish, and serve immediately. ANOTHER IDEA FOR EGGS BENEDICT
Finnan haddie replaces canadian bacon in this recipe. English muffin half, toasted Finnan haddie, thinly sliced Poached egg Hollandaise sauce
Take the toasted muffin half and top it with thinly sliced finnan haddie and a poached egg. Top this with the hollandaise sauce.
NOTE: If finnan haddie is fresh, there is no need to cook it. If frozen, slice thinly and arrange on a lightly buttered baking sheet. Warm under a heated broiler or in a hot oven for 3 to 4 minutes, until fish becomes warm and appears opaque. FINNAN HADDIE SALAD (4 servings) 1/2 pound red bliss potatoes, boiled until just tender, cooled and cut into half-inch dice 1/2 pound finnan haddie, preferably center cut, poached (see recipe above), cooled and flaked 1 small bunch fresh watercress, leaves only Half a small red onion, finely chopped 8-to-10 cherry tomatoes, cut in half 1/4 cup fresh dill or fresh parsley, chopped 1/2 cup fine quality olive oil Juice of half a large lemon Salt Freshly ground black pepper
Combine the first six ingredients in a large bowl and toss together. Separately, mix the oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving toss with the salad.