No dish typifies New England cooking better than baked haddock fillets topped with a white sauce and buttered crumbs.  The flavors are so inimitable and pure.  I like haddock best for this dish but cusk or pollock, though not as flaky, are fine alternatives.  What’s more, these fish, from local waters,  are so economical, running anywhere from $3.99 to 6.99 per pound. In New York at specialty fishmonger, Citarella, they’re priced at $15.99 per pound, termed  “wild caught” in New England waters (most likely Maine).

Season the haddock fillets on both sides before topping with sauce to bake

Keep the accompaniments simple too.  A small-size yellow-fleshed baked potato is perfect with the fish and a green vegetable such as broccoli, available in farmers’ markets now, is a good choice.  And to keep it all authentic, serve apple brown Betty or pandowdy for dessert.

Baked Haddock with White Sauce and Buttered Crumbs

Serving Size: 2

Baked Haddock with White Sauce and Buttered Crumbs

You can double the recipe to serve 4.


  • 1 pound haddock fillets or other firm-fleshed fish like cusk
  • Pinch of paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 cup milk, warmed
  • Topping
  • ¾ cup coarsely ground fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Put the fish in a shallow roasting dish or gratin pan
  3. Season both sides with the salt, pepper and paprika; sprinkle lemon juice over fish.
  4. Meanwhile make the sauce by melting the butter in a medium sauce pan. Whisk in the flour. Stir until combined, over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add, in thirds, the milk, first time off the heat and then add remaining milk on the heat, stirring until well combined. Add the seasonings, stirring to combine well. If the sauce seems too thick, add more milk or heavy cream. It should be of pouring consistency like a moderately thick cream soup.
  5. Pour it over the fish, covering the fillets completely. Mix the crumbs and butter to combine. Sprinkle over fish. Bake for about 35 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and fish flakes easily with a fork.
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