Parmesan Crusted Flounder by Tenney Flynn
Many people find themselves stuck on salmon – or another go-to fish that works with a preparation method you've long learned. Mix it up. "You can fall in love with a process or a method of cooking or side ingredients, but if the recipe says halibut, that shouldn't always be your choice," says Flynn. "Ask your fishmonger: What's the best thing you got today? Then be flexible enough that you base your recipe on the best thing in the case."
Take the Parmesan crusted fish meunière, a Flynn signature dish, that calls for flounder. But if your fish guy won't stop yapping about the amazing grouper or snapper he just got, grab it and plug it into this recipe. The one thing you cannot substitute for is a cast-iron skillet, which will brown the fish to perfection. "If you use a Teflon grill, the cheese sticks to the griddle instead of the fish," Flynn says. "I don't know why."
Parmesan Crusted Flounder Meunière (serves 6)
- 2 lbs skinless, boneless flounder filets
- 16 trimmed asparagus spears
- 2 tbsp drained capers
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1/2 lb Louisiana jumbo lump crabmeat
- 2 tbsp butter
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- vegetable oil spray
- salt and pepper
- 2 cast iron skillets
Fry the capers in 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium high heat until crispy. (They are like buds, so they're done when they're open.) Drain well. Cook the asparagus in salted boiling water for 3 minutes and shock in iced water. Season the filets lightly with salt and pepper. Spray filets liberally with vegetable spray and dredge liberally in grated Parmesan. Preheat 2 large cast iron skillets. Add a tablespoon each of oil and butter. Place the flounder, cheese side down, in the skillets. Cook on medium heat for 3 minutes and – very important – don't turn until a golden brown crust forms. Use a spatula to lift edge to check if brown. Turn and continue cooking for an additional 3 minutes. Transfer to 2 pie tins or baking sheet and put it in a 250-degree oven. Drain the oil from the skillet and place it back on the fire on medium-to-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir until butter browns and foams. (Don't let it burn.) Add the parsley and crabmeat and remove from heat. Heat asparagus and divide it onto four plates. Place the flounder on top of the asparagus spears, sprinkle with the fried capers, and spoon the brown butter over the fish.