Flounder with Lemon Butter Sauce

Ingredients:

Four (4- to 6-ounce) 1/2-inch-thick fresh (not frozen) flounder fillets (or substitute sole, snapper, catfish, tilapia, or any thin white fish)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon or so all-purpose flour* (optional)
2 tablespoons mild vegetable oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 oz), cut into 4 slices
Juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, chives, or flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

  1. Pat the fish dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Pat the fillets dry a second time just to be sure to remove all the moisture. If desired, sprinkle a little flour over both sides of the fillets and use your fingers to evenly coat both sides.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet (preferably cast-iron or stainless steel rather than nonstick) over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers but isn’t smoking, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Add the fillets to the skillet and cook, without moving, for 2 minutes. Slide a thin metal spatula underneath the fillets (making sure to use a little pressure to scrape up any of the golden crust that may be sticking to the bottom) and carefully flip the fish. If it seems impossible to slip the spatula beneath the fillet and the skillet, wait 30 to 60 seconds or so and try again. The fish will release when it’s ready–and only when it’s ready.
  3. Place a slice of butter on top of each fish fillet and stand idly by as the butter melts and infuses the fish with flavor. Cook the fish until it springs back from light pressure, about 2 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer the fish to a platter or to 4 plates.
  4. Carefully squeeze the lemon juice into the skillet and, with the skillet still over medium-high heat, use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the skillet. Stir in the fresh herbs and spoon the sauce over the fish.

 

Oven Poached Flounder

Ingredients:

1 lb flounder fillets, thin fillets about 1/4 inch thick
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
4-5 sprigs fresh thyme, one for each fillet
sea salt
lemon wedges

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9x13-inch glass baking dish with cooking oil spray. Rinse the flounder under cool water and arrange in the pan.
  2. Whisk together the olive oil and garlic. Then pour over the flounder. Place a spring of thyme on each piece of flounder.
  3. Salt, to taste, with sea salt.
  4. Slide the baking dish into the preheated oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
  5. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.