Chesapeake Bay Flounder…that Bites Back!

Horseradish-encrusted Flounder with stir-fried Vegetables

It’s the middle of Summer here on the East Coast of Virginia and that means one thing: the flounder are getting bigger! Almost iconic in status in these parts, flounder (sometimes referred to as “door mats”) are right up there with striped bass and bluefin tuna as a prized catch. If you have a boat, great. If not, do not despair – go to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, pay the $12 toll and stop at the South Island, where you will find the Seagull Pier, a great fishing pier that extends out into the middle of the Chesapeake Bay. $12 a bit much for a toll? Try paying for a seat on a charter boat. Head boats go for $40 to start and often go higher. Heck, I spend more than $12 when I go to Starbucks!

So luck was with you and you have landed a flounder big enough to keep. What to do? Why, let’s fire up the oven and have us some…

Horseradish-encrusted Flounder

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Flounder fillets (let’s assume you have 4 medium-sized fillets)
2 cups of plain bread crumbs
8 oz horseradish sauce (I use Boar’s Head)

First check the fillets for errant pin bones. You don’t want those pesky little bones, pull them out with a tweezer or a pair of pliers.

Next, slather the fillets in horseradish sauce. Then dredge them in bread crumbs. Repeat the process one more time.

Place the coated fillets in a greased. glass baking dish.

Bake for 12 minutes. Check for doneness by using a fork. If the fillet flakes easily, it is done. If it looks really, really moist on the inside, let it cook a few minutes more – it won’t hurt since the breading will keep the fish nice and tender.

When done – eat!

The horseradish taste comes through well, but is not overpowering. This is a nice alternative to the usual fried flounder or flounder stuffed with crab filing. Be adventurous. Live a little!

Now – for those of you who always go one step further, try this with Wasabi mixed in the horseradish. Add a little shredded Parmesan cheese to the bread crumbs. Cook the same way. Heck, do one fillet this way and put it in the same baking dish as the original flounder. Call it Flounder Roulette!

Try it – goes well with a nice glass of Fish Eye Merlot.

Ahhhh….

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