Living on the water means that we have in our back yard a treasure trove of opportunities and pleasures. From boating in our rickety but full of personality john boat to just watching the tidal changes, it’s an entertaining adventure.
Add to that the fish and seafood that can be found and it’s even more fun to have the resources right here that many times, I admit, I take for granted. One of my favorite fish is flounder. I love the tender almost sweet flakiness of the meat. With so many ways to prepare it, there’s never a time when I tire of flounder that Ben catches as he putters in the inlet. Seeing him scoot up to the dock, tie up the john boat, then head to the outdoor sink to filet the fish (sometimes it’s left whole) is a gratifying site to behold.
Sometimes Ben catches a lot of flounder, I mean a lot. We give it away. We freeze it sometimes. And, I’m always looking for new ways to flavor and cook it. With these somewhat thin and smaller flounder fliets I decided to pan sear them and use a tender Italian breading seasoning. Nothing overwhelming that would mask or counter the fresh fish but only complement its natural flavors.
Don’t be misled by the word ‘fried’. Not much oil is used. And, what is used is only to get that itsy bitsy thin layer of Italian seasoned ‘crust’ on the exterior! You certainly can use this same recipe for other similar fish like group or catfish!
- 1/3 cup oil
- 4 flounder filets, about 6 ounces each, relatively thin
- 1 cup Italian bread crumbs, finely ground
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 tsp. smoked hot paprika
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg, beaten
- Fresh chives
- Fresh lemon wedges
- Put the oil in a large (about 10”) cast iron skillet over medium heat. Start preparing your fish.
- In a small bowl combine the salt, pepper and paprika. Add this to the bread crumbs, mix and put in a pie plate.
- Combine the buttermilk and egg blending well. Put in another pie plate. Put all the flounder filets in the buttermilk/egg mixture. Take one piece at a time and shake off some excess. Place in the bread crumb mixture and coat on all sides. Repeat this process. Put on a plate. Continue with all the filets.
- Increase heat to medium high. The oil should be hot. Test with a drop of water. It should sizzle.
- Place two filets in and fry about 2 to 2 ½ minutes on each side to a golden brown. Reduce heat to medium if the fish is browning too much.
- Remove to a draining rack placed over a cookie sheet. Repeat frying with remaining flounder.
- Serve immediately with fresh chives and lemon juice.