Pan-seared Pollack with Caramelized Onions

Monahan's Seafood Market | Fresh Whole Fish, Fillets, Shellfish, Recipes, Catering & Lunch Counter-Ann Arbor, Michigan

This recipe serves 4. You may substitute any firm-fleshed ocean fish such as cod, haddock, hake or halibut. Inspired by New Scandinavian Cooking with Andreas Viestad.

  • 4 6-8 oz. pollack fillets
  • 2 cups Caramelized Onions (see below)
  • 2 to 4 whole cloves
  • Sea salt
  • 2 to 3 T flour
  • 2 to 3 T unsalted butter or bacon fat
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Balsamic vinegar (optional)

For the Caramelized Onions:

  • 2 pounds yellow onions
  • 1 to 2 t salt
  • 2 to 3 t sugar
  • 2 to 4 T unsalted butter or olive oil

Caramelizing the onions:

Peel, halve and thinly slice the onion. Place the onion slices in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and sugar, and toss. Set aside for at least 10 minutes.

Melt the butter over medium heat in a wide iron pot or skillet (teflon will not work for caramelizing). Add the onion (save any liquid left in the bowl). Cook over medium heat under close observation, stirring or tossing often with a spatula, until the onions begin to brown. Reduce the heat and add the liquid from the bowl. For the best results, the longer they cook, the better–reduce the heat to lowest setting, cover and cook for an hour or more, stirring every 10 minutes or so. For a shorter process, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook under close observation for about 20 minutes.

Cooking the fish:

Place the fish in ice water for 15 to 20 minutes. Place the caramelized onions in a medium saucepan and add the cloves. Reheat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.

Pat the fish dry and rub the fillet pieces with salt to taste and sprinkle them (on the top and bottom only) with flour or Drake’s batter mix. Heat the butter or bacon fat in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high and add the fish, skin side up. Cook for 1 minute, then turn the pieces over and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the fish is opaque in the center. The exact time depends on the thickness of the fish. (We like to finish by putting the whole skillet in the oven after flipping skin-side down.)

Remove the cloves from the onions and distribute among individual plates and place the fish on top. Season with pepper and a drizzle of Balsamic vinegar to taste. Serve hot.

Monahan's Seafood

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