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Dec 11, 2017 10:02 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

A Menu Of Fillet Of Flounder, Quinoa And Roasted Cucumbers

Fillet of Flounder, Quinoa, and Roasted Cucumbers. JANEEN SARLIN
Dec 12, 2017 11:47 AM

With all the buzz of holiday parties and special celebrations, it’s comforting to enjoy a healthy dinner at home with family and/or friends. Believe it or not the actual preparation/cooking time will be about one hour for this menu of fillet of flounder, quinoa, and roasted cucumbers. Choose the freshest fillet of flounder, fluke or cod that is available in the market that day.

First, prep the cucumbers and while they “marinate” make the quinoa and place it in the oven. Next, finish the cucumbers and place them in the oven with the quinoa. Now, prepare the flounder and let it sit for 15 minutes before roasting. By this time the quinoa and cucumbers will be done. Remove them from the oven and keep them warm. Increase the oven temperature and roast the fish, plate the dinner, and serve at once.

This menu is festive enough for you to invite guests. You might wish to start dinner with a tossed green salad and finish with fresh fruit and cheese for dessert. Pour a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or Chenin Blanc wine with dinner. Bon appétit!

Roasted Pesto Crusted Fillet Of Flounder(Serves 6)2, one-and-one-half-pound fillets of cod or 6 fillets of wild flounder, rinsed

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

5 scallions, trimmed and chopped

Juice of one large lemon

About 1/4 cup dry vermouth or white wine

Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

About 1 cup pesto or more if necessary

2 to 3 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced for garnishTo prepare:Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Rinse the fish, run your fingers over the fillets to double check for bones, and discard the bones.

Pat the fish dry with paper towels.

Lightly drizzle oil on the bottom of a baking dish large enough to hold the fish in one layer. Scatter onion and scallions in the dish and place fillets on top of them. Drizzle lemon juice, vermouth and olive oil, and sprinkle pepper on the fish. Smear an even layer of pesto on the fish and let stand at room temperature, about 15 minutes.

Place the baking dish on center rack of the preheated oven and roast until the flesh flakes to the point of a knife, turns from translucent to opaque, and the pesto is bubbling and brown, about eight to 10 minutes. The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fish.

Transfer the fish to warm dinner plates and garnish with chopped fresh tomatoes on each fillet.Quinoa And Bell Pepper Pilaf(Serves 6)About 2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1/2 large yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

3 tablespoons chopped, flat leaf parsley

1 cup golden quinoa, rinsed and well drained

1/2 cup red quinoa, rinsed and well drained

3 cups chicken or vegetable stock, boiling

Handful of flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped for garnishTo prepare:Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a heavy casserole dish over moderate heat, coat the bottom with olive oil. Add onion and sauté until soft and translucent. Add bell peppers, herbs, salt and pepper and sauté until they are nearly tender. Add quinoa, with a bit more oil (if necessary) and stir until it glistens, add hot stock all at once, and bring to a boil.

Cover with tight fitting lid, place in the oven, and bake 25 minutes or until the grains are tender. Stir with a fork, taste, and correct the seasonings.

Remove from oven, place a paper towel under the lid, and replace the lid. Quinoa will stay warm for up to 30 minutes in heavy casserole.

Just before serving, stir in chopped fresh parsley. (Can be done one day ahead, store in refrigerator, and reheat in 300 degrees F oven until hot, about 20 minutes.)

To serve, spoon quinoa into an oiled 1/2-cup ramekin, pressing down firmly, then invert the ramekin onto warm dinner plate and give it a firm shake to release the quinoa. Lift off the ramekin and repeat for each serving. Arrange fish and cucumbers on the side.Roasted Cucumbers 
With Shallots And Parsley(Serves 6)3 long English cucumbers, scrubbed

About 1 teaspoon sea salt or more to taste

About 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or more to taste

1 teaspoon sugar or more to taste

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, or more to taste

Optional: red pepper flakes to taste

About 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, with a little for garnishTo prepare:Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Peel cucumbers, cut in half-lengthwise, with a soup spoon, scoop out the center seeds. Place the cut side down on a cutting board and cut into about 1/4-inch slices (they look like half-moons) and transfer to a mixing bowl. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, sugar, and drizzle the vinegar over the cucumbers and toss well. Taste and adjust the seasonings (it should taste good enough to eat raw as a savory salad.) Let stand about 10 to 15 minutes. Add parsley and toss together just before baking.

In a shallow baking/serving dish drizzle oil on the bottom. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cucumbers to the baking dish, drizzle with enough oil to lightly coat, and stir well. Bake until the cucumbers are tender and the edges are brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

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