Sunday, June 19, 2011

Herb's Crab-Stuffed Whole Flounder

As mentioned before, the fish section is taking a long time to get through. While I am not exactly well known to the Korean lady at the fish store, I come there every couple of months to spend money and plenty of it. Each of these fish recipes is a revelation. I had never cooked a flounder before. The phrase flat as a flounder has basis in fact. Flounders are in fact flat, like a fish shaped pancake. They're a weird breed of fish, but tasty. They are also bony, so be warned.

The recipe calls for individual flounders to serve each diner. The fish store had larger flounders. I bought three and stuffed them according to instructions. Anyone not able to buy individual flounders might cut back on the crabmeat. I must have had half a pound of crabmeat left over. On the other hand, due to my husband's well-known shellfish allergy (and apparently that of my co-mother-in-law) I didn't stuff one of the flounders. I still don't think I would have used the entire pound. The recipe says to wrap the flounders in aluminum foil using a "drugstore wrap." Sorry, cannot enlighten you on this one. Just seal the foil up tight.

This is not a difficult recipe to make if one is handy with a knife and able to follow directions. I am handy with a knife, but reading the recipe again, I realized that I was supposed to open the top part of the flounder up like a Kleenex box, so the crab stuffing was sitting on top of the fish. I cut the fish at the top and bottom (as though the fish was swimming) and put the stuffing in there. I probably would have used more stuffing if I had done it the right way.

The dinner received effusive praise from our old friends Barbara and Brian. They both sent me thankyou notes. Brian, being a lawyer, does not have copperplate handwriting. At first I thought he said I was a "monster cook" but after reading it again, I decided he had said "master cook."

Herb's Crab-Stuffed Whole Flounder

1/3 cup plus three-quarters cup butter

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/3 cup chopped celery

1/3 cup chopped green pepper

1 clove garlic finely chopped

2 cups soft bread crumbs

3 eggs lightly beaten

1 tablespoon chopped parsley


1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 pound crab meat

6 whole flounder each weighing three-quarters pound to one pound

1/3 cup lemon juice

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Melt one third cup of the butter in a skillet and sautee the oinion, celery, green pepper and garlic in it until tender.

3. Add the breadcrumbs, eggs, parsley, two teaspoons salt , the pepper and crab meat.

4. Wash and dry flounder and make a pocket for the stuffing by laying fish, light side down, on a board. Cut down the center of the fish along the backbone from tail to about one inch from the head end. Turn knife flat and loosen flesh from the backbone and ribs on each side, making two flaps.

5. Stuff fish loosely with crab meat mixture.

6. Melt remaiing butter and mix with the lemon juice and salt to taste.

7. Spread two tablespoons butter mixture on each of six 18 inch square pieces heavy duty aluminum foil. Place a fish on top and spoon another tablespoon butter mixture over fish. Close foil with tight drugstore wrap. Place in shallow baking pan and bake thirty minutes or until fish flakes easily. Serves six.

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