I had picked up a single large flounder fillet at the Greenmarket around midday on Saturday, and then put it safely in the refrigerator, but by the time we finally left a reception at some friends’ home, it was around 10 at night, so the clock was definitely ticking when I arrived home: I had to come up with a treatment – and for a vegetable to accompany it – which could get us to bed at a reasonable hour (well, reasonable for us).
Preparing the flounder much as I usually do could have saved a few minutes, but I really wanted to move into new territory, so I tried something I hadn’t done before, ending up losing little or no time in the process. The recipe I turned to, but altered in practice, was by David Tanis, as printed in the New York Times.
Of the vegetables I had on hand, I decided that the fastest to prepare, and one which would also work well with the fish, was the rather special pole beans I had also picked up today.
- one large 17 ounce flounder fillet from P.E. & D.D. Seafood, divided into four pieces, to serve two (if you know the asymmetrical shape of a flounder fillet, you’ll know why I did that), seasoned with salt and pepper on both sides, coated lightly with flour (I used North Country Farms Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour), submerged in a shallow bowl containing a whipped mixture of 1/3 cup of milk, one large egg from Millport Dairy, and a pinch of salt; when a mixture of olive oil and butter in a shallow skillet began to look wavy, fried until golden, about two minutes for each side, removed, blotted on paper towels, transferred onto two warm plates; any oil remaining poured off, the skillet returned to heat, now lower, three tablespoons of butter melted, followed by one small, very fresh leek from Ryder Farm, chopped thinly, salt, and pepper, which were allowed to cook together without browning (for about one minute), more than a tablespoon of lemon juice added, and the sauce stirred, then about a tablespoon of chopped dill flowers from Ryder Farms added, the sauce poured over the warm plated fillets, served with pieces of lemon (wedges would be far more convenient than the slices pictured here); note: Once at the table, and after I had photographed the plate, I sprinkled chopped parsley from Keith’s Farm over the top of the flounder, since the dill was surprisingly subtle in effect by itself
- ‘Maxibel’ green beans from Norwich Meadows Farm, blanched, drained and dried, reheated in oil, finished with salt, pepper, and lovage from Keith’s Farm
- the wine was a California white, Scott McLeod Chardonnay Russian River Valley 2014
- the music included symphonies by Franz Anton Hoffmeister and Franz Josef Haydn, and it included Haydn’s exquisite homage (whether conscious or unconscious) to the age in which his art flourished, his Symphony No. 22, ‘Der Philosoph‘, here, the entire adagio can be heard, performed by the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Marc Minkowski conductor