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

Captain Morgan Spiced Rum Sauce w/ Old English Bread Pudding

I don’t know if you recall, but I mentioned that on Fridays the local Stop and Shop sells its Italian bread for 99 cents a loaf. Well as I mentioned before, I usually pick up two loaves, one to use with soup or pasta which I like to make on Fridays, and the other to save for Sunday, letting it dry out a bit. Some times I slice it up for making stuffed French toasts, and sometimes I use it for making bread pudding. So, I figured this Sunday I’ll make the bread pudding as I was able to stop by Trader Joes and found dried apples and cranberries at a nice price. So, lets whip up a rum sauce with this also, since the memory of Christmas is fresh and rum sauce makes a nice winter treat.

Here’s what you’ll need:

 Bread Pudding –

  • One dried Italian loaf cute into cubes (about 6 cups)
  • 1 ¼ cup of milk
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 1/3 cup of butter softened
  • ½ cup of diced dried apples ( or other dried fruit)
  • ½ cup of dried cranberries ( or raisins)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
  • 1 Tbsp nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon

Rum Sauce –

  • 5 tbsp Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
  • 2 oz butter
  • 2 oz flour
  • 2 oz sugar
  • 1 pint of whole milk

Bread Pudding:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

In a large bowl, combine bread and milk, and set aside to soak for 5 minutes. Then stir in egg, butter, fruit, brown sugar, rum, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Combine well, and then press the mixture into a 9-inch square baking pan.

Bake in preheated oven until golden and firm to touch, about 35 minutes. Leave in baking pan to cool.

 

Rum Sauce:

Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the flour and stir to create a thick paste. Cook for a minute taking care not to burn. Using a hand whisk, slowly add the milk, stirring vigorously. Continue whisking until thick smooth sauce is formed it should take about 5 minutes or so. Do not have the heat too high or the base of the sauce may burn. Then add the sugar and whisk until dissolved. Lower the heat and cook for 5 minutes stirring from time to time. Then stir in the rum.

Serve the bread pudding with the warm sauce over it to enjoy a winter dessert.

bread pudding 5

Comfort Soup – Split Pea

As the cold weather begins to creep in, and a new exorcism movie is making the rounds, I can hear the comforting call of a nice hot pot of pea soup. Yes, there is no greater friend to a ham hock than a piping pot of split peas.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 smoked ham hocks
  • 1 lb (2 1/4 cups) green split peas
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 large leek, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 large clove of garlic, halved
  • Salt and Pepper

Pick over the peas and remove any stones. Wash and drain peas. Place in a 4 quart pan with the vegetables ham hocks and 2 1/2 quarts of water. Bring to a simmer. Skim the top of the soup for several minutes clearing the froth that floats along. Cover and simmer about 1 1/2 hours until peas are tender, stirring occasionally in case they stick to the bottom of the pan.

Remove the ham hocks from the soup. Purée the soup with a blender;  I use my immersion blender right in the pot, its great for this; if you are using a regular blender, take care to work in batches and only fill the blender halfway if the soup is still hot, and hold down the lid while blending. If you want an exceptionally smooth soup, pass the purée through a sieve, but I prefer mine a bit on the lumpy side.

Remove the skin from the hocks and dice up the meat. At this point you can scour the fridge for any left over ham bits and pieces. This is one really good soup for using up those porcine scraps.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into warm bowls. I like to serve this with fresh warm pumpernickel bread.