When I buy prepared frozen seafood entrees, it is usually on a whim. I’m in a rush, hungry, and there is nothing in the house. I’ve seen this line of frozen entrees at a local grocery store and I’ve been curious. The brand is Captain Marden’s Seafoods and I have only seen them in this particular store instead of the regular supermarket. My wife is pretty much a pescatarian who is “selective” about shellfish, so I picked out the Haddock Au Gratin and Haddock with Herb Dressing. For six bucks apiece for a haddock dinner, how can I say no?
Who is Captain Marden?
According to the company website, Captain Marden’s started as a retail fish market in the Boston suburbs in 1945. Today the family run company has a restaurant, fish market, catering and of course, a line of frozen entrees. What excited me most is that they say they buy their fish in Gloucester and Boston, so I’m somewhat familiar with who is catching and selling the fish I’ll be eating.
The Packaging and Product
The unassuming packaging and the fact that it is a local product makes me think that maybe it’s a cut above some of the other stuff I’ve tried. The fairly spartan 3-color box is for some reason very “New England” to me. Nothing fancy, yet suggesting to the consumer that they don’t need fancy packaging, it’s that good. They had several different options in sizes for either one or two so I chose two of the one-person servings.
Out of the box the servings were between 7-9 oz, which seems reasonable for the price. The fish looked good in the cooking tray and smelled good through the 55 minute cook-from-frozen process.
I thought the Haddock au Gratin tasted pretty good, although there were parts of the fish that were dried out. However the Haddock with Herb Dressing was just too dry after all that cooking time. If I knew I would have added some butter and lemon to counteract this, but instead it was virtually desiccated and pretty strong tasting. So I guess the end result is a mixed bag, which bums me out a bit, considering this is local (albeit frozen) fish. I think I may try this brand again but now I know to stick to entrees that have some sort of sauce to make sure the fish stays moist.