Due to an ACF meeting our plan to cook bunny was temporarily delayed. On the menu instead was flounder!
Now is it me or do all fish look angry? This one especially so with its scowling mouth. I guess if someone caught me out of the ocean, instantly ripped the guts out, and then threw me on ice to be frozen, I’d have a chip on my shoulder too. Chef demos how to fillet the angry fish and we go at it. The plan is to wrap the fish around crab and oven poach it. Also on the menu is spinach (with bacon) and parisienne potatoes.
First thing after filleting the flounder is to make a stock. Into a nice large stockpot goes everyone’s fish carcasses, some white wine, some lemon, and a leek. (I actually have no idea what went in raw, just saw what came out cooked as I strained it.) The tandem duo (me and my trusty partner) fortunately didn’t have to sit through the meeting but were left to babysit the stock in the kitchen and plate out different varieties of crabmeat*.
Watching the stock one of the flounder’s had emerged from the liquid and was moving its mouth angrily as if to say “LET ME OUT.” Too bad buddy, we’re about to do all sorts of fun things to you!
Flounder stuffed with Crab Meat
- 8 ounces Crabmeat
- 1 egg
- 1 roasted red pepper (medium diced)
- 1 ounce parsley minced
- 8 flounder fillets
Mix crabmeat, egg, mayo, red pepper, and parsley. Make sure this mixture is WET. Lay out flounder fillets. Cover in saran wrap and gently massage to extend out meat (kinda like when you pound chicken breasts, but much more gently). GENTLY. Paint approximately 1 teaspoon of mustard on each flounder fillet. Lay down approximately 1 ounce of crab mixture on each fillet and wrap fillet around crab mixture.
Put rolls in a saute pan. Add enough stock to cover flounder rolls just about half way. Cover with another saute pan (or a piece of aluminum foil) and place in 375F oven for about 15 minutes. Fish cooks fast and dries out if overcooked or not enough liquid so keep a close eye on it!
This is pretty easy and fun. Probably not the healthiest way to eat spinach. Basically saute a few pieces of bacon (mince it before frying). Add minced garlic and shallots. When the veggies are translucent, add spinach. Once the spinach is in it takes not anymore than 2/3 minutes to cook. Remember, spinach hasn’t done anything to you, so don’t kill it!
These aren’t actually anything fancy, take a parisienne scoop (read: melon baller) and scoop out little potato balls. Poach these in some chicken stock with a touch of saffron and turmeric. These also take just about 15 minutes. Strain off chicken stock and add a little thyme and salt.
Couldn’t even tell you what this is called, but chefs seem to like making pan sauces. Take the poaching liquid and strain. Return to a saute pan with a little cream. Bring to a boil. Add a little cornstarch slurry (like an ounce or two) to thicken the sauce. Add a little salt and pepper and you’ve got a nice little fish sauce!
Now when it come to plating, I’m still learning. Our chefs (and mine after all was said and done) first impression of our plate was boobs. Also the potatoes shouldn’t have been higher (or as high) as the fish.
*Sidenote: Apparently there are lots of different types of crabmeat. The three we plated for the meeting were pasteurized, Indonesian, and Chinese. The pasteurized is what you typically find in the store and is the one most are accustomed to eating. But after eating a good amount of this we found it had a funky aftertaste. The Indonesian I didn’t immediately like because it had an immediate aftertaste, but after a while it kind of grew on me. The Chinese I did not particularly care for, because it kind of tasted like chicken. Strange enough, I think the Chinese was the most expensive of the three. I’m sure if I had gone to the meeting I would have learned all about it, but that’s what Wikipedia is for.