Today, February 18th is more than just Presidents Day, a day many Americans honor George Washington and Abraham Lincoln with huge mattress sales. It is also National Battery Day, National Drink Wine Day (good advise with politics being what they are these days) and National Crab Stuffed Flounder Day (boy, that’s a tasty mouthful).
As a food-blogger, there wasn’t a lot I could do with National Battery Day. However; drinking wine and stuffing fish, those were National activities I could get behind. Let’s start with the easiest – the post practically writes itself. Dig through a few cookbooks, search a few favorite recipe sites, and select a little of this, a little of that to create a crab filling perfect for a delicate flounder. What’s that you say? No flounder in the fish case at your local market. That’s okay. This recipe works swimmingly well with sole or other thin white fish filets.
Crab Stuffed Flounder
For the Crab Filling
1-1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Freshly squeezed lemon juice from about 1/4 of a lemon
1 to 2 teaspoon flour
3/4 lb jumbo lump crabmeat, pre-cooked
For the Flounder
4 (6-oz) pieces skinless flounder or sole fillet
Kosher Salt to taste
White Pepper to taste
2 tablespoons Butter, well softened
Paprika, for color
For Caper Sauce
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 medium Onion, finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped Fennel Bulb (cut out core and discard first)
1 Garlic Clove, thinly sliced
1/4 cup dry White Wine
2 tablespoons Capers, rinsed and drained
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 pinch White Pepper
2 tablespoons dry White Wine
For Plate Garnish
1 Lemon, cut into wedges
Handful of Small Tomatoes, sliced
Heat oven to 425 degrees
To Prepare Filling:
In a small bowl, combined the mayonnaise, Old Bay, onion powder, mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir until blended. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Add enough flour to hold the mixture together. Gently toss in the crab, trying not to break up the lumps any more than necessary. Set aside.
To Prepare the Flounder:
Sprinkle flounder lightly with salt and pepper, top each piece with 1/4 filling mixture, then gently roll each fillet into a cylinder and arrange, seam side down, in the baking dish. Lightly brush with soften butter, then sprinkle with paprika for color. Place in the heated oven and bake on the middle of the rack until fish is just cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes.
While the fish is baking, make the sauce.
To Make the Sauce:
Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté onion and fennel, stirring, until golden, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and sauté, stirring, 30 seconds. Add wine and simmer briskly until liquid is reduced by one-third, about 5 minutes. Stir in capers, salt, and pepper. Taste and if desired stir in the additional white wine. Transfer sauce to a gravy boat or decorative bowl for serving and keep warm.
Carefully lift the stuffed flounder from the baking sheet and place down the center of a large serving platter. Arrange lemon slices and cut tomatoes down one side of the platter, a green vegetable such as green beans or asparagus down the other. Pass the caper sauce to use as desired when plating.
Serve stuffed flounder with a nice, chilled bottle of wine and warm bread. Time to enjoy!