I have a weird thing where I really dislike having the same recipe two weeks in a row. I ask for input on dinners every week and end up vetoing most because they’re repeats of what we’ve just had. That all changed when I needed a quick, kid-friendly recipe for some haddock I had in my fridge.
My kids are quasi-good eaters. They eat a variety of foods but would be more than happy to live off of cereal and PB&J. Fish is one of those things that is SO hard for me to get them to eat. They hate salmon, shrimp, or anything that smells “fishy.” (HA!) Brook trout fried in batter? They’ll devour them one right after the other. Maple balsamic salmon? NOPE.
Ranch dressing is one thing my kids eat with almost every meal. My three-year old can often be found dipping her spoon in it and simply eating ranch. This turned me off of ranch for many years until I found the most amazing dairy free ranch in the whole wide world! This is hands down THE BEST ranch. My family is obsessed with it and it comes together super fast. I do tweak mine and add in some chives, dill, and parsley.
Haddock is one fish that they will eat…as long as I make it into what we call “fish nuggets.” Same concept as chicken nuggets, but with fish. I’m not a huge fan of the whole “dip in flour, dip in egg, roll in breadcrumbs and repeat” process. It’s time-consuming for a weeknight dinner and I hate the weird breading gloves that encase my fingers after a couple of minutes.
Cue the MOST AMAZING Fish!
As I said, I needed a fast, family friendly dinner for haddock. I had just made ranch when the light bulb went off! I would like to apologize ahead of time for the pictures. It didn’t dawn on me to share this until I was almost about start, so fancy pictures weren’t scheduled.
You will need:
- Ranch dressing–preferably the recipe above, but whatever you have is fine!
- Panko bread crumbs (1/2 cup)
- Grated Parmesan aka shakey cheese (2-3 tablespoons)
- Garlic powder
- Dill weed
- Minced onion (or onion powder, I was out)
- Haddock–for my family I order 1.25 lbs and we have just enough for our dinner
- Cookie sheet
- Cooling rack
**If you use more or less fish, adjust the coating ingredients**
In case you hadn’t figured it out already, basically what’s going to happen is the fish gets smothered in ranch and then rolled in the panko/shakey cheese/herb coating and baked. Sounds super simple…because it is! But the taste is out of this world! If you’d already figured this recipe out, kudos to you! Only took me 33 years.
Pretty easy…I cut my haddock into portions so they fit on the cookie sheet better. Preheat the oven to 425*. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and place the cooling rack over it. Liberally coat with your favorite non-stick spray. And yes, I mean LIBERALLY!
Combine panko, shakey cheese, dill, garlic, onion, salt & pepper on a plate, set aside.
I take a spoon and put a spoonful of ranch on the fish directly and use my left hand to schmear it around. Next, it goes into the panko/cheese/herb mixture and is coated. Put it on the cooling rack/cookie sheet combo and repeat with all of the fish portions.
VOILA! I use a cooling rack to get air under the fish so the bottom doesn’t get weird and soggy. A tip my Gram taught me that I use for this: make it a wee bit ahead of time and put the coated fish in the fridge to hang out for a bit. She swore it made the coating stick better and crispier and I’m not arguing. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Just as a testament to how amazing this fish is…tonight marks the 6th or 7th Monday IN A ROW we have eaten it for dinner. My kids shovel it in to the point I have to remind them to use their fork. I made it for my parents when we visited. They made it two days after we left and the other day. It is really that good where I don’t mind eating it every week.
I hope you enjoy it! If you try it–let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear how you liked it or tweaked it to suit your tastes!