Cape Ann Fresh Catch – Week 4 Flounder
So after 3 weeks of cod, we got something different this week: yellowtail flounder and whiting. Not only did we get the two beautiful flounder you see here, but we also got ten (yes ten!) whiting. To add to the adventure, none of the fishes were cleaned, so this week I also got to learn how to clean fish. While it would probably have been easier to keep the flounder whole and bake it, I decided to go ahead and fillet it. I definitely would not have tried this without my nice new (and very sharp) filleting knife. It wasn’t as bad as I thought and came out pretty well. To cook the flounder I poached it in milk and served it with egg noodles and peas in a mustard butter sauce. I would definitely try poaching again – the fish came out very tender, and the sauce was great. BUT trying to do all of it the same night as prepping the fish was a bit much.
Flounder poached in Milk with Noodles and Mustard Butter Sauce
1lb flounder fillets
2 cups milk
8oz egg noodles
10 oz frozen petite peas
salt & freshly ground pepper
Mustard Butter Sauce (below)
The fish cooks very fast, so you really want to get started with everything else. Start a large pot of salted water for the noodles. Put the frozen peas in the collander you’ll use to drain the noodles and rinse with hot water to defrost them. Assuming that you made the mustard sauce in advance – warm it in a small pan over very low heat. When the noodles are cooked, drain them over the peas. Then toss the noodles and peas with some of the mustard sauce.
While the noodles are cooking season the fish with salt and pepper on both sides. You can fold the fillets into thirds to have everything fit in the pan easier. When the noodles are almost done, add the milk to a large skillet along with 6 cups of water and a generous 2 teaspoons of salt. Bring the milk to a simmer, then add the fillets and turn the heat down to low. Cook over low eat for 3-5 minutes (depending on thickness). Turn the fillets over, turn off the heat and let them sit in the milk for a minute to finish cooking. Put some noodles on a plate, top with some fish and drizzle a little more sauce over the top and you’re good to go.
Mustard Butter Sauce
Ok, this is a variation on a Beurre Blanc (video) with a couple of spoonfuls of mustard whisked in at the end.
1/2 cup chopped shallots
3/4 cup liquid (water, or white wine & vinegar, or stock)
1 stick chilled unsalted butter cut into 8 pieces
1-2 Tbsp coarse dijon mustard (or mix of smooth and grainy)
Cook the shallots in the liquid until it has reduced to about 1/4 cup. Turn off the heat and whisk in the butter a couple of pieces at a time to create an emulsion. For a smoother sauce blend the sauce with an immersion blender, or strain through a strainer before adding the mustard. This sauce does have a tendency to separate when reheated – you can re-emulsify it with the immersion blender, or just whisk in another tablespoon of cold butter.
This is based on a recipe for Turbot in Fish without a Doubt by Moonen and Finamore. It would work for most mild white fish such as cod, sole or fluke as well.