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Sep 29, 2017 3:43 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Fillet Of Flounder, Two Ways

Fillet of flounder In a bed of zucchini with eggplant  JANEEN SARLIN
Oct 2, 2017 11:08 AM

More and more folks are adapting a healthy lifestyle by eating fish two or three times a week. East End residents are lucky to have access to fresh fish every day of the week!

Here’s how I like to cook: Pick up fillet of flounder, fluke or sole (whichever one looks the best). Then stop off at the farm stand for an assortment of vegetables and create a fabulous dinner like this one. Fillet of flounder served on a nest of shredded zucchini with sautéed Japanese eggplant. No one will ever suspect that it’s healthy.

Fish fillets should have a fresh odor, firm texture and moist appearance. Most fillets are boneless and skinless. However, sometimes a stray bone—especially on the end of a fillet—can be dangerous for diners and, worst of all, embarrassing for the hostess. Therefore, check each fillet by running your finger over the flesh and down the spiny column in the center. Remove any bones and the spiny column by cutting on both sides and discarding it. As a result each serving becomes two portions (one smaller than the other) of beautiful fish.

For a less involved fillet of fish recipe, make Simply Flounder with lemon and butter, adapted from Jacques Pepin’s latest cookbook, “A Grandfather’s Lessons: In the kitchen with Shorey,” a Rux Martin Book, 2017. Poaching the fish just until it is done and topping it with the flavorings is fast and easy with delicious results. Bon appétit!

Fillet of Flounder on a Nest of Zucchini and Eggplant(Serves 4)2 medium zucchini, scrubbed, and cut into 3-inch lengths

3 Japanese eggplant, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices on an angle

About 2 tablespoons avocado oil plus more for sautéing the fish

1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced

1 medium onion, chopped

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

About 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves

About 1/3 cup cornmeal

About 1 teaspoon ground sage

4 fillets of flounder (about 6 ounces each) rinsed and patted dry

1/4 cup dry vermouth

Juice of 1 lemon

Few sprigs fresh sage for garnish

Optional: 1 tablespoon unsalted butter for swirling in the sauceTo prepare:In a food processor fitted with the shredding disc, stack the zucchini lengthwise in the tube and shred; you’ll need to work in batches. Transfer the shredded zucchini to a bowl and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large non-stick skillet over moderate-high heat, coat the bottom with oil.

When oil is hot, add garlic and sauté until light brown on the edges and aromatic. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add eggplant to the skillet, sprinkle it with salt and pepper to taste and sauté until light brown on edges and tender. Transfer to the garlic and keep warm.

In the same skillet over moderate-high heat, add oil if necessary, sauté onion, zucchini and fresh sage until the vegetables are tender, about five to eight minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Transfer to another side dish and keep warm.

Meanwhile, remove the spiny column running the down the center of each fillet of flounder. In a shallow bowl, mix cornmeal, dry sage, salt and pepper together.

In the skillet over moderate-high heat, coat the bottom with oil.

When hot, dip the fillets in the cornmeal, pressing it into the sides of the fish and place the smooth side down in the pan and sauté until the edges are light brown and beginning to turn opaque, about three to four minutes. Turn fillet over and sauté the other side about two minutes. The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fish.

Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and keep warm. Pour off excess oil in the skillet and discard. Add vermouth and lemon juice to the skillet, raise the heat and deglaze the pan, about three to four minutes. If using, swirl a dollop of butter into the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

To serve, create a nest of the zucchini in the center of a warm dinner plate, place the fish on top and arrange eggplant slices (with the garlic if you like) around the fish, spoon a teaspoon of the glaze over the fish and garnish with plate with fresh sage leaves.Simply Fillet of Flounder 
with Lemon and ButterAdapted from Jacques Pepin, “A Grandfather’s Lessons,” Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Serves 4)4 fillets of fluke, about 5 to 6 ounces each

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

About 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

About 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

About 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chivesTo prepare:Remove the spiny column running down the middle of each fillet and discard.

Set warm dinner plates next to the stove along with the salt, pepper, butter, lemon juice and chives on the side, ready to be sprinkled on the fish.

Just before serving, bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large skillet over high heat.

Slide the fish into the water in one layer. Cook about two minutes (the water will not come back to a boil).

With a skimmer or wire basket, lift out one fillet at a time and blot the top of the fish and the bottom of the skimmer with a paper towel. Slide the fish fillet onto the warm plates, dot the top with butter and drizzle with lemon juice, salt, pepper, and chives. Serve at once.

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