Stuffed flounder makes real Valentine's Day treat
April 27, 2005 - Anyone who knows me would be shocked to think that I voluntarily cooked and ate fish of any type. But before my years on the road, I remember taking my girlfriend (now my wife) to Sam's Steakhouse in Athens, Ohio for Sam's stuffed flounder. Sam's became our choice for a special night out.
|Fish haters everywhere can eat any of these Seven Holy Flounders|
After sleeping under the stars for a few years, I came to think of fish as something you eat when you can't afford to buy food. Fish are free, even when you don't carry a fishing rod.
But for Valentine's Day, 2005, I decided to surprise my wife, a real fish lover, by doing something she would never expect. I reinvented Sam's stuffed flounder with crabmeat. Other than the flounder and crab the other ingredients were thrown in to mask the fish taste.
You may be confronted with a choice between flounder steaks and flounder fillets at the grocery store. I would have chosen the steaks because that's how I remember them at Sam's. But my grocery had only thin fillets, so I decided to roll them like a German rouladen.
Seven Holy Flounders
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 celery stalks, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 cup Italian parsley
4 crab legs, shredded
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon mustard
2 beaten eggs
1 1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
7 flounder fillets
1 cup tartar sauce
Preheat oven to 375° F. Put at least eight toothpicks in a bath of boiling water for 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the dish.
Heat saute pan over medium-high heat until it gets too hot to touch. Add butter, onion, garlic, parsley and celery. Saute for six minutes, or until onions turn translucent. Add shredded crab leg meat, mustard, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Heat for two minutes and set stuffing aside.
In shallow cake pan stir together breadcrumbs, half of the salt, half of the pepper and half of the cayenne.
Stir flour, half of the salt, pepper and cayenne in a second shallow pan.
In a third shallow pan, stir together eggs and milk.
Dredge fish fillets in flour, shaking off excess. Dip into egg mixture, shaking off excess. Finally, dredge again in the bread crumb bowl making sure each is evenly coated. Let rest at room temperature on a rack or wax paper no more than 20 minutes.
Spread a smooth layer of stuffing on fillets one at a time. Roll up fillet from one end and secure with a toothpick that has been soaked in water. Once all fillets have been filled, bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes. Increase heat to broil and place under broiler to achieve a golden color, no more than 2 minutes, if the fillets have not browned while baking. Your fish should lightly flake under pressure from a fork.
Remove toothpicks before serving.
Serve topped with Tartar Sauce, Olives in Red Wine, a fresh spinach salad; Gewurztraminer wine and bruschetta with this dish on Valentine's Day 2005.
Vegetable filling and Tartar Sauce can be made a day ahead covered and stored in your refrigerator.