Poached Fish with Cranberry Hollandaise

I don’t think we use cranberries enough. They’re always on my mind this time of year. I made this for a pre-Christmas dinner a few years ago, and it was well enough liked that I make it whenever I get some good redfish, drum, flounder, or salmon and a hankering for poached fish.

  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 lemon, slice
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 4 sprigs parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 fillets of fish, 6-8 oz. each
  • Sauce:
  • 1 cup cranberry juice, boiled down to 1/4 cup
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • Generous pinch cayenne

1. In a large stainless-steel or enamel pan, put about a half-inch of water and bring to a simmer. Add wine, lemon slices, peppercorns, parsley, and salt. Cook for five minutes.

2. Meanwhile, get the sauce started. In a metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk the egg yolks until they change to a pale yellow color. Whisk in the softened butter, a tablespoon at a time. If the sauce shows any sign of curdling, remove the bowl from the saucepan and keep whisking until it cools. Keep this up until half the butter is incorporated, then add the reduced cranberry juice and a tablespoon of water from the fish pan. Whisk in the rest of the butter slowly until fluffy. Whisk in the cayenne. Set the sauce aside.

3. Back to the pan with the lemon slices. With the water just barely boiling, add two pieces of fish at a time and cook for six to ten minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Remove the fish with a slotted turner and allow excess water to drain. Place on the plate and top with the cranberry hollandaise.

Serves four.

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