Winter Flounder with White Wine

Winter flounder, unlike summer flounder is caught in estuaries close to shore. It’s a common fish caught when ice fishing, but we’ve had no ice around here this season.  You can tell the difference at the fish store by noticing the eyes. The winter flounder has its eyes on the right side of the body, white the summer flounder has its eyes on the left side. The winter flounder is a fish of choice when you want a light ‘white meat’ fillet. The Summer flounder tends to have a darker more ‘fishy’ fillet. So cooking the winter flounder in lighter aromatics like white wine, and serving it up with winter veggies makes a healthy addition to a new year’s menu.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 lb flounder fillets
  • ½ cup Duck Walk white wine
  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • ½ cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • dash of sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange fillets in a greased baking dish. Mix wine, onion, mushrooms, and seasonings together and pour over fish. Bake for 25 minutes or until fish is done. Serves 2. Very good served with wild rice and steamed squash.

icefishing

Stuffed Flounder

Canned crab meat is a great shortcut in making so many recipes where the crab is being used as an accompaniment. I usually don’t use the canned if I’m using crabmeat as a standalone, like stuffed crab salad. Although when I’m making a crab – corn chowder, I can go either way. But with this recipe, canned crabmeat for the stuffing is a great way to use canned crabmeat when you run across a good sale on it.

  • 4 pounds whole flounder – cleaned, rinsed and dried
  • 1 pound crabmeat, shredded
  • 3 or 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, minced
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon old bay seasoning
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly grease a large casserole dish or a baking sheet lined with tin foil. Heat olive oil over medium-low heat in a large saucepan. Stir in onion, green onions, bell pepper, celery and garlic. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally until onions are soft. Then remove pan from heat and stir in shredded crabmeat, seasoning, bread crumbs, salt and pepper.

Now, rub the flounder skin and cavity with butter. Stuff the cavity with crab mixture and place in prepared pan. Bake this for 30 minutes, or until flesh is firm and white at the thickest part of the fish.

The more adventurous cook will take the flounder head, put it in a pot of water with some celery trimming, left over onion ends, top and bottom of the green pepper that would otherwise been thrown out and other aromatics lying around, perhaps one of those soy sauce packets from the Chinese take-out, and make a fish stock. Then you use the fish stock to make couscous to serve with the flounder.

Chesapeake Bay Beer-Battered Flounder

Thin fillets of flounder are a good fish for deep frying. There small size cooks very quickly. Using a heavy beer-batter to encase the fish actually reduces the amount of oil in the fish itself. The oil quickly cooks the batter and transfers that heat to cook the fish inside the batter. But even though… use good quality, non-transfat, high smoke-point oils like canola or peanut oil. You want to taste the fish, not the oil.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 to 5 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup Blue Point Summer Ale
  • 2 lbs. flounder fillets cut into 4×1 inch strips
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  • Tartar sauce

Heat oven to 200 degrees. Pour the oil into a large Dutch oven, 1 inch deep. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 375 degrees.
Whisk the flour, salt, Old Bay, black pepper and cayenne together in a large bowl. When the oil is almost ready, whisk the beer into the flour mixture until completely smooth.
Pat the fish dry.  Add half the fish to the batter and stir gently to coat. Using tongs, lift the pieces of fish from the batter, allowing excess to drip back into the bowl; add to the hot oil.
Fry, stirring pieces gently to prevent sticking together, until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Remove the fried fish to a paper towel to drain and keep warm in oven.
Repeat process with the remaining strips of fish.  Serve with lemon wedges and tartar sauce.

Baked Flounder with Cherry Tomatoes

Winter flounder primarily live in shallow coastal waters during the colder “winter” months of the year. During the summer, they migrate out of shallow water to deeper and cooler ocean waters, and they move back to shallow coastal waters when the water’s temperature begins to drop again. Around here, ‘shallow coastal waters’ is techno-babble for ‘the bay’. Winter flounder are most abundant during the colder months of the year, and during their seasonal migration in the spring to cooler ocean waters and again in the fall as they move back to coastal waters. Large winter flounder are commonly referred to as “lemon sole” in many markets. The terms “sole” and “flounder” are often confused, and are really two biological classifications of flatfish. There are no true sole commercially caught off the Northeast coast.

  • 4 half pound boneless flounder fillets
  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped basil
  • Sea salt and pepper

Make a single layer of the tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and basil into a large ceramic baking dish. Sprinkle a bit of sea salt and back pepper over this and pop this into a 425 degree oven for about five minutes.

Season the fillets with a dash of salt and pepper. Arrange the fillets over the tomato mixture and roast this for about ten minutes or until the fish just starts to flake.

Now, I just through an iron trivet on the table and serve the fish with tomatoes right out of the pan with roast potatoes out of a matching pan cooked at the same time as the fish… and I’ll post the recipe for Dad’s Roast Potatoes shortly… so check back soon