M: Last April, tornadoes tore through Raleigh. I was away in Tennessee when it happened and wasn’t sure what I was coming back to. Huge trees were uprooted three doors away from me. A mile from my house a farm was destroyed. For weeks following, the streets were flanked by towering stacks of wood as country workers processed fallen trees and debris to be hauled away. I was lucky. Aside from a branch or two down, my property was untouched. Blessings counted. But what does all of this have to do with enjoying a nice piece of fish?
One of the great things about living in North Carolina is access to great fresh seafood. My favorite place to get it is a shop called Earp’s Seafood, a local fishmonger with a 43 year history, terrific service and a tremendous selection of fish, oysters, shrimp, etc. straight from the coast. They were less fortunate last April. The roof was torn from their cinder block building, forcing them to close until they could rebuild. Nine months later, I am happy to report Earp’s opened their doors again last week. I didn’t stop eating fish while they were gone. There are other places to go. But I sure missed a Saturday jaunt over there to peruse the day’s catch, pick something out and have them fillet it and wrap it in newspaper for me. When I heard they were re-opening, I went right to my trusty SFA cookbook to see what we’d be having for dinner tonight. Welcome back, Earp’s. Thanks for the flounder.
This is a nice, simple recipe that takes you from “What’s for dinner?” to moist, tender fish on the table in about 15 minutes. Hard to beat that. When the fish is good, I’ve always felt that you don’t need much more than a little seasoning, but I love this easy twist by coating it with a little mayonnaise. I like cooking with mayo. It’s just egg and oil, right? Used well, you’ll forget it’s there, but it gets the job done. Here it is a taste builder without getting in the way of the subtle flavor of the fish, but the real boost is the great job it does of keeping that moisture in and adding a smooth glaze that brings a little something extra to the plate.
Recipe: Broiled Flounder
Summary: A quick and clever way to add flavor and moisture to flounder without forgetting what makes fish so good in the first place. From The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook.
- 4 Flounder Filets
- 6 T Mayonnaise
- Salt and Pepper
- Ground Cayenne Pepper
- Minced Parsley and Lemon Wedges, for garnish
- Coat broiler pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- Arrange filets on pan and coat evenly with mayonnaise using a dinner knife or pastry brush.
- Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with paprika and cayenne pepper.
- Place under broiler 5-8 minutes until opaque and mayonnaise transforms to a golden glaze.
- Garnish with parsley and lemon wedges.