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Stuffed Flounder

4 Flounder steaks (3/4-1 lb)
1 md Onion, chopped (~3/4 cup)
1 Celery rib, chopped (~1-3 c)
1/3 c Chopped bell pepper, red or green
1/4 lb Unsalted butter, melted
1 lb Crabmeat
2 c White bread torn into small pieces
2 lg Eggs, lightly beaten
1 tb Chopped parsley
1 1/4 lb center slice boned country ham, about 1/4" thick, finely diced
1 tb Amontillado sherry
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Juice of one lemon

Preheat the oven to 350'F. Lay the fish bottom side (the white side) up on a cutting board and make an incision in each fish down to the backbone along the center of the fish, stopping just shy of the head and tail. Working at an oblique angle, slip the knife in between the flesh and backbone and run the knife down the ribs on both sides of the backbone.

Saute the onion, celery and bell pepper in a heavy saute pan in about half of the butter over medium-high heat until the onions begin to become transparent, about 5 minutes. Toss with the crabmeat, bread, eggs, parsley, ham, and sherry, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Remember that the country ham is salty and will impart its flavor to the crabmeat. Stuff the fish with the mixture, brush a glass baking pan with some of the remaining butter, and add the fish to the pan. Mix the rest of the butter with the lemon juice, pour over the fish, and bake for 30-45 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

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