By Felicia Scocozza
Winter flounder are hard to come by in many parts of the northeast and mid-Atlantic states these days. When you do get a few, they make for an exceptionally special meal.
While you can’t go wrong with simple fried flounder, here’s an easy recipe truly worthy of such delicate fillets. It features the flavors of spring: flounder, baby arugula and fresh parsley.
Note that this meal cooks up rather fast, so be sure to have all the ingredients in place and ready to go before placing your catch in the pan.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Yield: Serves 4
- 1 ½ lbs. of fresh flounder fillets
- 1 cup flour
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 2 lemons, with 1 zested and juiced
- 2 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
- ¼ cup canola oil (or more depending on the size of the pan)
- 3 cups packed baby arugula
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare the arugula by tossing it with olive oil, juice of one lemon plus salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to warm setting.
- In three separate bowls place flour, eggs and panko breadcrumbs. Add salt and pepper to each bowl. Add lemon zest and parsley to the panko.
- Heat a cast iron or heavy bottom pan to medium high. When hot, add enough canola oil to cover the bottom and about half as deep as your fillets.
- Pat fish dry, dredge each fillet in the flour, eggs and panko breadcrumbs, and place in the pan. It’s important to place fillets in the pan immediately after dredging. Do not crowd the pan. If necessary, separate fillets into two or more batches.
- Cook each fillet for 2-4 minutes on each side until golden brown, depending on the thickness of the fish. Keep cooked fish warm on a baking sheet in the oven until they are all cooked.
- Top each fillet with some squeezed lemon juice, the tossed arugula salad, and the shaved Parmesan cheese.
- Serve with some crusty bread, over your favorite light pasta, or both. We served ours over simple linguni tossed with olive oil, lemon, chopped grape tomatoes, and Kalamata olives. Delicious!
Note: Unlike baking, cooking is not an exact science. Readers are encouraged to adjust and modify these recipes to their own tastes.