sautéed flounder, tomato butter; cavalo nero


I love flounder anyway, but I have no idea why Barry and I both found this fillet even more delicious than usual.  I’d even say it was the best I have ever had.  It was serious, with an intense flavor which included a hint of shellfish.   Flounder is normally a delicate fish, easily filleted and easily prepared, but I now have serious respect for the flavor alone.

The fillet I bought from the fisherman that afternoon weighed in at slightly over one pound.  That in itself was unusual for our table, but was it the reason it tasted so grown-up?  Or was it the fact that I sautéed it in both butter and, my usual choice, olive oil?  Maybe it was that tiny bit of Chianti white oak-aged vinegar.  Wait, I just did a web search, and found suggestions that Winter Flounder itself, a local species, is particularly desirable for its flavor.

I used a recipe I found on the LA Times site, and made only a few adjustments.

  •  Long Island flounder fillet from P.E.&D.D. Seafood, divided into two parts, seasoned, cooked in a pan over high heat for a few minutes, turning once, then placed on plates, a couple of spoons of ‘tomato butter’ [see below] placed on top.
  • tomato butter made by cooking in butter a tiny amount of shallot from Keith’s Farm, then letting the flavored butter cool slightly before being poured over fresh large cherry tomatoes, ‘Cocktail Tomatoes’ from Maine via Whole Foods, chopped, which had been combined  with torn basil, seasoned with salt, pepper, and drops of red wine vinegar
  • cavalo nero (Racinato kale) from Keith’s Farm, braised with garlic, finished with salt, pepper, and a bit of olive oil
  • the wine was a California white, Rock.Face Chenin Blanc Clarksburg 2012