Friday, January 13, 2012

Flounder Oreganata!

Flounder masquerading as sole

I had another brutal week and last night I just wanted something really easy and really tasty for dinner.  I was going to cook chicken burgers - but as I passed the fish monger on the way to the butcher, I decided to go super easy and have flounder instead.   

I put the flour mixture in the wrapping paper to make cleanup easier

Maybe it's just me, but if you blindfolded me and had me taste this dish with flounder at $14 a pound (I'm sure you can find even less expensive flounder) and with sole, which was going for $29 a pound, I couldn't tell the difference.  The piece I ended up with cost just over $8.

Add the spices into the mixture

When you buy fish at Citarella, they wrap it in a sheet of butcher paper, then wrap it in another sheet with the Citarella logo on it.  The Citarella paper is clean and didn't have the fish against it - so being really lazy, I put the flour and spice mixture right onto that paper to make cleanup easier. 

Sizzling in the skillet

Most, if not all oreganata recipes call for breadcrumbs.  I get a crispy filet using just flour and spices so I skip the breadcrumbs. 

As always - I toss fresh lemons in the pan to add flavor

This is a very basic recipe - I mixed Herbs de Provence, Mediterranean oregano (any oregano will do), Meyer Lemon rind (I bought in a jar at Williams Sonoma), salt and pepper.   Everything tastes better with butter, so I added about a teaspoon into the extra virgin olive oil when I cooked the flounder in the skillet.  One teaspoon isn't much but it adds a lot of flavor and helps the filets brown.  You end up with a brown butter sauce.

Prepared string beans

Keeping things as easy as possible, I bought prepared string beans to serve along side the flounder.  The flounder took about 2 minutes per side to cook.  Use your flipper to peek under the edges and when the filet is golden brown, it's time to turn it over. 
I cut the filet in half

The filet that I bought was a bit unweildy, so I cut it in half down the center.  I figured it would be easier to turn over and this way I'd have more sides that would brown.  It was either really delicious or I was really hungry because I ate both halves.  Here's an idea - serve this dish and tell your companion that it's sole - see if they notice the difference!  It's just a white lie and you can always fess up while clearing the dishes.


1/2 pound flounder per person
1/2 cup flour for dredging
1 tbspn Herbs de Provence
1 tbspn oregano
1 tspn Meyer lemon zest (or zesting a lemon is even better)
1 tbspn extra virgin olive oil
1 tspn butter
1/2 lemon

*a note about butter - splurge.  Skip the Land O Lakes and buy Irish or Dutch butter


Pre-heat non-stick skillet over medium heat
Mix dry ingredients on a large dish or in the wrapping paper from the store
Let flounder filet sit on the counter for at least a half hour wrapped in paper towels
When the flounder is dry dredge through flour mixture
Dredge on both sides and press down mixture on the filet with your hand so they don't fall off
If the filet is large, cut in half down the middle
Add oil to pan - swirl around for a minute or two
Add the butter
Carefully add filet - cook for about 2 minutes on each side
Use your spatula to peek - flip when the filet is golden brown
Serve and enjoy!

Et viola!

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