CEimB Haddock Pepian

by Joanne on June 30, 2011

This week, Bri of Yoshimi vs. Motherhood chose a wonderful dinner which should have used chicken as the protein but, well, you know how that goes with this Pescetarian.


Serving 2


  • 3 fresh tomatillos

The tomatillo fruit is surrounded by an inedible, paper-like husk formed from the calyx. As the fruit matures, it fills the husk and can split it open by harvest. The husk turns brown, and the fruit can be any of a number of colors when ripe, including yellow, red, green, or even purple. Tomatillos are the key ingredient in fresh and cooked Latin American green sauces. The freshness and greenness of the husk are quality criteria. Fruit should be firm and bright green, as the green color and tart flavor are the main culinary contributions of the fruit.


  • 1 large cubanelle pepper – seed and cut into quarters
  • 2 TBS olive oil (*you’ll be using 2 teaspoons of oil over the course of 3 separate instructions)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds (unsalted or lightly salted)
  • 5 whole peppercorns
  • 2 whole allspice
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 small Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 3 tsp minced garlic
  • ¾ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • ¾ cup vegetable broth
  • 1/3 of a jalapeno pepper(seed and roughly chopped)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 lb fresh Haddock –seasoned with a little salt and 2 tsp lemon juice.
  • Lime wedges for garnish


Preheat broiler. Remove the papery layer from the tomatillos and rinse with water to remove the stick coating. Dry and slice into quarters. Toss in a baking dish with the cubanelle and top with 2 tsp olive oil. Stir to coat. Broil for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.

In a sauté pan, add the seeds, peppercorns, allspice, cumin and cook over medium for 4 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside. *Instead of dirtying a plate, I simply put them on a coffee filter. Then you can toss the filter when you’re done.

In the sauté pan you used to toast the seeds, etc, add 2 tsp olive oil over medium heat and sauté the onion for 5 minutes. Add the garlic for one minute and remove from heat.

In a food processor, add the tomatillos, cubanelle, seeds and spices, onions, garlic, cilantro, broth, and the ½ tsp salt. Whirl it around for about 1 minute.

Heat the remaining 2 tsp olive oil over medium-high heat and add the haddock. Cook 3 minutes the first side and 2 minutes the second side. Then pour on the pepian sauce, allow to simmer for 3 more minutes or until fish is cooked and flaky. Serve with sauce and a lime wedge.


The results:

There wasn’t any fish left for Shane. Ted usually ALWAYS leaves a little fish for Shane. Not this night. The recipe was a complete success. We both loved the sauce and it paired very well with the fresh fish. It didn’t over power which was a surprise. With as much as went into the Pepian sauce, I was thinking it would be strong in flavor but it really wasn’t. Just a perfect complement to fish and I’m almost 100% sure it would be great used with chicken.

Served over sliced butternut squash.


Great pick Bri!

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  • At 2011.06.30 12:02, Kayte said:

    Ah, the fish looks good in it as well! We really liked this sauce…going to have to find more uses for it, I do believe. Yours looks wonderful.

    • At 2011.06.30 22:53, Chaya said:

      That is a good idea, pairing it with the fish. We are basically eating chicken, fish and dairy and an occasional barbecue. I have been subbing in fish for many dishes.

      • At 2011.07.01 00:33, Liz said:

        This really looks so good, especially on that nice fresh fish. I haven’t had a chance to try the sauce yet, but I can only imagine how nicely the tomatillos pair with fish. Great substitution!

        • At 2011.07.01 04:55, Marthe said:

          Looks good with fish too!!!

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