Poached Hake With Orange-Molasses Glaze

I cook a lot, but I very rarely fire up all four burners on my stove at the same time. One recent meal, though, required all four, and while juggling so much cookware was a handful, the end result was magnificent.

stove-four-pots-pans

I built the menu around one ingredient: oranges. My friend Joanne gave me a bunch of them from her tree, and they’re delicious.

oranges-on-cutting-board

Since my poached chicken dish was so successful, I wanted to try to poaching fish. I had hake in the freezer – perfect! I moved some to the fridge the day before so it could thaw.

hake-fillets

Hake is a flaky, steaky whitefish. I had never eaten it before, but thought it would hold up well to poaching, since it was so thick.

My poaching liquid ingredients were:

  • Water
  • Juice of 1 giant orange. (After squeezing the juice into the pan, I cut the rind into a few pieces, and added that too, just to amp up the orange flavor)
  • 1/4 of a large red onion, cut into big hunks
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic (or use a couple whole cloves if you like)
  • A few sprigs of fresh marjoram

marjoram-orange-poaching-liquid

I brought it to a rolling boil to get all the flavors incorporated, and then brought it down to a light simmer. I had to remove a couple of the orange rinds to make room for the fish.

hake-in-poaching-liquid

Then I covered it and let it gently simmer away while I did other stuff. That other stuff included:

Veggies.  I chopped 1/2 of a large zucchini and 1 broccoli crown, and sauteed them in a non-stick skillet with a little Pam, and nothing more.

broccoli-zucchini-in-skillet

Couscous. From a box. It was Toasted Pine Nut-flavored (Near East brand), so it was already seasoned. It called for 1.25 cups of water, but since I wanted the use orange throughout the meal, I replaced 1/2 cup of that with fresh orange juice (the juice from one orange). I also only used 1 tablespoon of oil instead of two, but apart from that, I followed the instructions on the box.

RELATED CONTENT: Check out my recipe page for all sorts of healthy meal ideas!

Glaze. I created a glaze that could go on all three components, and the glaze was simple. Only three ingredients!

I combined them all in a little saucepan, brought it to a boil, and let it reduce until it thickened up a little bit – about 10 minutes, which was approximately how long it took the fish to cook.

Then it was eating time! It looked awesome on the plate…

hake-glaze-couscous-broccoli-zucchini-plate

…and tasted even better in my mouth.

close-up-fork-poached-hake-couscous-broccoli

I got so excited to eat that I forgot about my garnishes! I was gonna sprinkle a little orange zest on top, along with the last few fresh marjoram leaves.

marjoram-leaves-orange-zest

Oh well. The meal was pretty enough without them, and definitely not lacking in flavor.

close-up-hake-glaze-couscous-broccoli-zucchini

My favorite part was that even though I used orange throughout the meal, it ended up being pretty subtle. I loved the orange undertones in the couscous, especially paired with the nuttiness of the couscous, and the glaze was sweet, acidic, thick, and a touch bitter – wonderfully complex. It was a good sauce for the hake. While mine was perfumed with the ingredients from the poaching liquid and covered in that great glaze, I could tell on its own it’d be a pretty boring, bland piece of fish.

I ate two fish fillets for dinner, and had two more for leftovers. I saved those unused garnishes, as well as the last bit of glaze, so my lunch the next day looked pretty gorgeous, too.

poached-hake-with-garnish

Keep it up, David!

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2 Responses to Poached Hake With Orange-Molasses Glaze

  1. Sarah Van Houten says:

    Looks good!

  2. Rere says:

    I chuckled to myself when you said you got so excited you forgot the garnishes. I made curried chicken in my pressure cooker last Sunday. It looked so pretty on the platter and it smelled so good my husband and I dove right in. It was halfway through dinner that I remembered I wanted to take a picture of it for my face book page. It wasn’t very pretty after we tore into it 🙂

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