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Oct 9, 2019 1:17 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Flounder Makes For A Great Fall Meal

Late harvest green beans and flounder with tomato and red pepper sauce. JANEEN SARLIN
Oct 14, 2019 11:31 AM

This week’s menu is very simple indeed. Sautéed flounder or sole with tomato and red bell pepper sauce is perfect for a work night supper, but the presentation is attractive enough for company too.

The late harvest green beans right now at farm stands/markets have a deep rich color and an unmatched intense flavor. Thus, I simply blanch them in boiling water until the beans are toothsome (a.k.a. tender) according to personal preference and serve them sans topping. Melted butter or olive oil drizzled over the hot beans is optional.

The brown basmati saffron rice is the perfect side dish for this menu. Adding a pinch or two of saffron while sautéing the onion, adds a depth of flavor and autumnal golden hue to the rice.

You ask, what’s for dessert? Have a crisp crunchy apple with green tea or serve your guests apple pie from your favorite baker. Bon appetit!

Fillet Of Flounder With Tomato & Red Pepper Sauce

(Serves 4)

4 fillets of flounder or sole, rinsed and spiny column removed

About 1/3 cup Wondra flour or corn flour for dusting

About 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/4 teaspoon dried parsley

Pinch of thyme

Peanut or coconut oil for sautéing

For the sauce:

1 to 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

2 medium shallots, minced

1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and finely chopped

1 medium firm ripe tomato, seeded and chopped

1/4 cup dry vermouth for deglazing

About 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

2 teaspoons unsalted butter, room temperature, for swirling

To prepare:

Rinse the fillets under cold running water and pat dry them with paper towels. Remove the spiny column running down the center of the fillets. Place flour on the plate, add salt, pepper, paprika, parsley and thyme, and mix well. Dust the fillets with the seasoned flour and shake off the excess.

In a skillet over moderate high heat, coat the bottom with oil, add the fish (working in batches) and sauté until evenly browned on one side, about 2 to 3 minutes, turn and brown the other side. (The fish should flake to the point of a knife. Cooking time depends on the thickness of the fillets.) Transfer to a plate and keep warm.

Wipe out dark bits in the bottom of the pan with a paper towel. Add a bit of olive oil and sauté the shallots until they begin to soften. Add red bell pepper and sauté about 5 minutes. Add tomato, salt and pepper and cook until soft. Add vermouth, raise the heat and ignite, and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Swirl in butter. Add parsley, spoon over the fish, and serve at once.

Late Harvest Green Beans

(Serves 4)

1 pound fresh green beans, washed

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


About 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

To prepare:

In a large pot of boiling water, drop the beans a handful at a time into the water, cook until they are crunch tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Immediately remove the beans, drain and plunge into cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain well. Cut off the stems and reserve. Optional: Drizzle melted butter over hot beans and pass the salt and pepper at the table.

Brown Basmati Saffron Rice

(Serves 4)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 pinches saffron threads, or more to taste

1 teaspoon thyme

2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley

1 1/2 cups brown basmati rice

3 cups good quality vegetable or chicken stock, hot

To prepare:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In an ovenproof casserole dish set over moderate high heat, add enough oil to coat the bottom of the dish. Add onion and sauté until aromatic and beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add salt, pepper, saffron, and thyme and sauté until aromatic, about 2 minutes longer. Stir in the rice until the kernels glisten and then add hot stock all at once. Stir well, cover the dish, and bake until the rice is tender and all the liquid is absorbed, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, place a paper towel under the lid and let stand about 10 minutes before serving.

Fluff with a fork, taste and adjust the seasonings. Garnish with chopped parsley.

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