Fabulous Fancy Flounder

9:00 pm on 30 May 2005


  • Two medium sized flounders, filleted, skin on.
  • That’ll give you eight fillets and the frames to make a stock.
  • One medium sized fillet of some other white fish, about 150grams. I used monkfish (also known as stargazer) from the ‘red-avoid’ list but you could peruse the ‘orange–caution’ list for a less endangered fish with similar qualities. Blue cod is such a fish.
  • (There is a ‘green-best choice’ category, but according to forest and bird, no fishes qualify to be in it)
  • Half an onion
  • 200 ml cream
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbl brandy
  • 4 Tbl white wine
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • Salt/pepper
  • 6 slices fresh white bread
  • 80g butter
  • 2 Tbl oil.
  • Seasoned flour.


Flounder is a plain, unassuming fish but it can become an elegant, understated show stealer on a budget.


Ahead of time: Put the fish frames, the half onion and 1 cup of water in a covered pot with the flounder frames and simmer for 10 minutes. Let cool then strain and set aside. In a food processor make bread crumbs with white bread and half the butter. Set aside.

Roughly chop the fillet of white fish and place into the food processor bowl with the brandy, ½ tsp salt, a grind of black pepper. Slowly add 100ml of the cream while the processor runs. Puree to a paste.

Lay the flounder fillets skin side down and spread the paste evenly on the flesh side. Press the breadcrumbs into the fish paste and set aside in the fridge.

Slice half the lemon as thinly as you can.

To serve: Pre heat oven to 200 C and put a flat roasting dish in to heat up.

Make the sauce: Bring stock to the boil and reduce to ¼ cup, then add remaining cream and thyme, bring to a simmer then add the white wine and the juice of the remaining half of lemon. Reduced to about ¼ cup, and check seasoning.

Pre heat a non-stick frying pan and add the oil and butter. The butter should sizzle, but not burn.

Flour the skin of the flounder and cook the fillets skin down for 1 minute each. Cook in batches, and when they are all done, transfer the fillets skin side up, crumb side down, into the hot roasting dish in the oven and place a slice of lemon on the skin. Cook in the oven for 8 – 10 minutes. Serve with the crisp skin up and spoon a little sauce around each piece.

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