Wednesday, January 17, 2018

There's No Floundering When It Comes to the Flavor of this Fish

In fact, this dish might be one of the most flavorful fish you've ever had! Mary Ann Esposito came by Tonia's Kitchen to talk about her stuffed, baked fish bundles.  Sounds complicated right?  Not really says Mary Ann, who's behind the cookbook Ciao! Italian Family Classics.  She told Tonia she takes flounder filets, along with fresh spinach, onion, olive oil, capers, sun dried tomatoes and (optional) garlic to create a simple, yet delicious take on what could be just another baked fish dish.

16 ounce package fresh spinach, stemmed and washed
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Filippo Berio extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1 pound flounder fillets at least 3 1/2 inches wide and 6 inches long
2 peeled garlic cloves, finely minced
2 tablespoons plus 3/4 cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 425F.

Cook the spinach in a pot, with a cover with no additional water, until it is wilted. Drain in a colander and squeeze out most of the water. Set aside.

Pour 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in the pot used to wilt the spinach and add the pine nuts. Toast them over medium heat until they begin to brown. Stir in the spinach, salt, celery salt and the 2 tablespoons heavy cream. Mix well. Transfer the mixture to a bowl to cool slightly.

Brush 1 tablespoon of the remaining olive oil in a 9 x 10 or 12-inch baking dish.

Divide and spread the spinach filling on each of the flounder fillets. Roll each up like a jelly roll and place in the baking dish. (You may use toothpicks to help keep the fish firmly rolled up. Remember to remove them before serving.) Salt and pepper the fillets and bake for 10-12 minutes or just until the fish flakes easily with a fork. When the fish are cooked, remove the dish from the oven and tent it with foil to keep warm.

Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil in a small saucepan and cook the minced garlic over medium heat until the garlic begins to soften; do not let it brown. Lower the heat and slowly pour in the cream and cook the sauce covered for 3 minutes. Uncover and add salt to taste.

Serve the fish with some of the sauce poured over the top.

Note: Garnish with sorrel or spinach leaves and cherry tomatoes for color or a lemon, orange or lime slice.