The real-life Captain Marden just turned 101 and in honor of this achievement I picked up one of his signature frozen entrees. I wish I saw the Cap’s spartan white boxes in more frozen seafood sections because they are of much higher quality than the national brands. This time I prepared Captain Marden’s Scrod Supreme for Two, which cost me affordable $11. Seems like a pretty good bang for your buck with over a pound of food.
What is Scrod Anyway?
If you ever visited New England, maritime Canada, New York or New Jersey, you may have seen scrod on menus as if it were a type of fish. However, scrod is not a fish, but a size of a fish. This is the term used for the smallest size of marketable white fish like cod and haddock. In the US a scrod haddock is anything under 3 pounds. The old school waitresses of classic New England seafood places will sling a variety of bad acronyms and false etymologies to explain the word. Whatever explanation they give you, they should also be able to tell you what kind of scrod they’re selling.
The word goes back to at least the mid-19th century within the wholesale seafood industry, but has older origins, possibly from Dutch. Today scrod is usually a small fillet, but originally may have meant the small fish that were split and often dried.
About Captain Marden’s Scrod Supreme
This entree for two tops out at over a pound of food, and you could feel the heftiness of the package. The ingredients on the side flap are a bit long, thanks to the cheese sauce and crumbs. However, the first ingredient is scrod, and states that it is either cod or haddock. That’s pretty much a win-win as far a fish quality, either will be good. I couldn’t really tell in the frozen condition, but I’m pretty sure it was two small portions of haddock. The crumb mixture settled in the box, so I placed most of it back on the fish before cooking.
Preparing the Scrod Supreme
This is my third time sampling Captain Marden’s for review, but I buy the Finnan Haddie entree occasionally because it’s so good. I have better luck with the “for two” version of the entrees when cooking, I’ve overcooked the individual sized entrees.
Overcooking can give frozen fish, even mild haddock, a fishier taste. It’s not just a rookie mistake either. I’ve experienced this in local restaurants, who should know better. Fish too long in the freezer + overcooking = fishy haddock. When in doubt start with the shorter cooking time, you can always put it back in the oven. Following the instructions on the box, and cooking to the minimum suggested time, resulted in a bubbly and perfectly cooked scrod entree. Since I was eating the entire box myself, I did not prepare any side dishes.
This scrod supreme came out really good. It did need a few squeezes of lemon, but the fish was obviously two nice scrod pieces. The cheese sauce was reminiscent of Velveeta, which I find bland on its own. But Captain Marden’s crumb mixture is so buttery and flavorful that it was a great match.
This frozen entree was a good value for $11. Plenty of food for two as advertised, and if paired with a baked potato and sauteed vegetables, would be double that price per serving. If eaten by itself like I did, it was more than enough, and very satisfying.
Captain Marden’s is not a national brand, and because of that, they can focus on what matters. They are selling a product to folks that grew up with similar family recipes and the inherent New England trait of “fussiness.” Considering the limitations of frozen seafood entrees, Captain Marden’s sets the bar very high, and I look forward to trying more of their selections. It may even warrant a field trip to their restaurant for the real deal!