Fish Poached in Cider 4.000

Julia Ewan - The Washington Post

Dinner in Minutes Oct 29, 2008

Even fish benefits from fall's signature fruit, and this quick dish works well with almost any kind of white-fleshed fish.

Saucewise, there are two ways to go: Use the reduction of sparkling cider and optional apple brandy, or swirl in creme fraiche or a few tablespoons of butter just before serving (and off the heat).

Serve with steamed green beans or new potatoes. Wine columnist Dave McIntyre suggests pouring a glass of a Sipp Mack 2004 Grand Cru Rosacker Riesling from Alsace or a Winzer von Erbach 2007 Riesling from the Rheingau region of Germany.

Servings: 4
  • 2 to 3 shallots (may substitute 1/4 small onion)
  • 5 ounces mushrooms, such as portobello, button or cremini
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds white-fleshed fish fillets, such as black cod, line-caught haddock, Pacific halibut or U.S. farm-raised tilapia
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus an optional 2 tablespoons for swirling in at the end
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup dry sparkling hard cider
  • 1/4 cup apple brandy, such as Calvados or applejack (optional)
  • 3/4 cup crème fraîche (optional)


Peel and mince the shallots; there should be 2 to 3 tablespoons' worth.

Stem and wash the mushrooms, then coarsely chop; there should be 1/2 to 3/4 cup.

Cut the fish into 2 or 4 equally sized pieces, if necessary, so that they fit comfortably in a large skillet.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium-low heat. When it is foamy, add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, until they are translucent.

Season the fish lightly on both sides with salt and pepper. Arrange the fish pieces in the skillet in a single layer. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, then add the mushrooms, stirring to combine. Add the cider and apple brandy, if using; increase the heat to medium or medium-high so that bubbles appear at the edges of the skillet. Cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes; turn the fish pieces over halfway through, if desired.

Transfer the fish to a deep serving dish to keep warm, leaving the liquid in the skillet. Increase the heat to medium-high, if needed; cook uncovered for 2 to 3 minutes to reduce the sauce slightly. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.

(At this point, if you want to make a richer sauce, remove the skillet from the heat. Add the craeme fraaTMche or butter and stir to incorporate.)

Spoon the sauce over fish. Serve immediately, at the table.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Cider: Hard & Sweet," by Ben Watson (Countryman Press, 2008).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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