Thursday, October 13, 2011

Spicey, Crispy and Light

Cooks in minutes and tastes great

Welcome to Day Two of following my skinny dinners for a week.

One of my dilemmas with this blog is to make common foods that taste great sound more exotic than they actually are.  There's steamed monkfish, not very sexy sounding but really tasty.  And today, there's flounder.  I grew up on the shore outside of Cape Cod and caught flounders while fishing from my Boston Whaler as a boy.  I recall that I just caught them for sport and threw them back in the water.  I can't imagine my mother cooking flounder - and that's too bad.  They're really light and delicious. 

Flour base with spices

I always make sure the flounder filets are as dry as possible.  I wrap them in paper towels and put a plate on top and let sit for a while.  Then I dredge it through flour - and dredging through flour alone is a great way to prepare them.  The flour makes the filet crispy.  But if you like spicey, give this recipe a test drive.

I mixed paprika, porcini mushroom sea salt, powdered roasted garlic and Somalian pepper in with the flour

Dredge the flounder through the mixture

Fry in oil, a pad of butter with lemons

Last night I served with roasted asparagus and tomato and true confessions time: I had a small piece of fresh fig bread from Eataly on the side

Can you refer to flounder as being elegant?  Or just scrumptious?

Notice I use a pad of butter.  One pad has a 36 calories (all from fat).  This is a little trick to make it taste like you're having a sinfully fattening entree when you're really not. A little butter goes a long way and really amps up the taste.  You can substitute other fish for the flounder - tilapia, catfish, cod - any white, mild fish will do.  The flounder pictured above cost $6.25.  So your wallet can stay fat while you get skinny!


1/2 lb flounder filet (flounder is really light so tell the fish monger how many servings you need)
1 cup flour
1 tspn porcini mushroom sea salt (or just regular salt if you don't have the fancy stuff)
1tspn Meyer lemon rind (or lemon zest)
1 tspn paprika
1 tspn roasted garlic powder
1 tspn Somalian pepper (or regular pepper)
1 fresh lemon, sliced
2 tbspn extra virgin olive oil
1 pad butter (optional)


Wrap the flounder filet in paper towels; place a plate or bowl to weigh down; let sit for a half hour or so; filet should be at room temperature when you start to cook
Add the dry ingredients to a large plate
Pre-heat a large skillet over medium heat; add oil and butter
Dredge the dried filet through the flour mixture
Sautee for 2 minutes on each side - watch for the filet to become golden brown then flip
Serve and enjoy!

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