I grew up eating a lot of flounder – – fried. Served with fried shrimp and fried hushpuppies. (If you don’t know hushpuppies, you surely haven’t eaten at a fish shack or BBQ joint in North Carolina. I love hushpuppies – and I hope I can figure out some gluten-free way way of making them some day! I digress…) I saw some wild-caught flounder at the seafood counter, so I brought some home to try in its un-fried state.
Flounder is a flat fish, with flaky white, mild-tasting meat. It is also a pretty lean fish, so to keep it from getting dry, it needs to be cooked fairly quickly with added fat for better flavor. Lemon is a classic flavor enhancer for fish of all kinds, and I didn’t stray from the traditional path here. Since I make up a big batch of lemon-pepper seasoning for chicken wings, there is usually some left over for sprinkling on pork chops or vegetables – and now fish! I swear, lemon-pepper seasoning is good on about everything!
This was quick and easy for a weekday supper. The flounder was served with oven-roasted asparagus (which cooked at the same time as the fish), and shitake mushrooms sauteed in butter and a little white wine. Delicious!
- 1 to 1/4 pounds flounder fillet
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- lemon-pepper seasoning (see below, or link to chicken wing recipe above)
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 lemon, sliced
- kosher salt
Preheat oven to 400F. Melt butter in a glass baking dish that will hold the flounder in a single layer. Place the fillets in the dish with the butter, turning them several times to make sure they are well buttered. Turn under the thinner edges, so the fillets are more equal in thickness. Sprinkle with lemon-pepper seasoning and the juice of 1/2 lemon. Lightly season with salt (remember there is a little salt in the lemon-pepper seasoning). Place a few slices of lemon over the fillets.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the fish is opaque and will flake with a fork. Serve immediately.
Recipe for lemon-pepper seasoning:
- 1/4 cup black peppercorns, ground using medium grind with automatic grinder (I used tellicherry peppercorns and a coffee grinder we only use for spices)
- zest of 2 lemons (2-3 tablespoons)
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons granulated garlic (NOT garlic salt)
- 3 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
In a medium sized bowl, mix the freshly ground black pepper with the lemon zest. Press the zest into the pepper while mixing, to release more of the lemon’s oils. Add the additional ingredients and mix well. Store in a sealed jar and keep in refrigerator until next time you need it.
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