Fish Dinner

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fluke dinner plated fluke roast german butterballs

I love to eat fresh fish but I’m afraid it’s a less welcome dinner choice (than meat) for the guys in my life. Every time I make it I try to gussy it up a bit, so someone says, “that’s actually tastes really, really good!” I buy fish when it’s fresh, affordable and reasonably close to the source. Fish generally tastes fishy or makes people wrinkle up their nose when it’s cooking, if the fish is old. By old I don’t necessarily mean frozen. Some frozen fish is amazing because it’s done so immediately after being caught, at sea or soon after. Much frozen wild salmon is infinitely better than an inferior fresh farmed option. Taste and see for yourself.

One local (here in the northeast US) fish that I adore is fluke. Sometimes referred to as summer flounder, you tend to start seeing it about this time of year as the waters begin to warm up. It’s a flat fish with lean, thin delicate fillets. At our local farmers market there’s a long Island fish monger who comes straight from the boat to the city, and the fish is always perfect. Regardless of what you choose to buy, having a good standby recipe is important. This one is SO good. My chef son said he’s stealing the recipe, and the fish-phobe in the house (he who shall go unnamed) was bummed we were having fish, then raved about it once he ate it. The plate of food was so basic, German Butterball potatoes, fresh first-of-the-season field spinach and Fluke with a Sicilian relish. You can use any basic flat whitefish for the same results. The whole dinner cooks in under 30 minutes.

  1. Clean the spinach very well, place it in a large pot.
  2. Clean and dry the potatoes. Place on a baking sheet with olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh herb of choice. I used rosemary. Cook at 375 for 25 minutes, turning a few times. Get your plates warm.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil, and lightly sizzle a couple minced garlic cloves. Turn off the heat, and add a teaspoon capers, one tablespoons currants, zest and juice of one lemon, and  3 tablespoons chopped toasted almonds.
  4. When the potatoes have 10 minutes left on the clock, steam the spinach until barely wilted (just a few minutes). Douse it with olive oil, salt and a squeeze of lemon. Season the fish fillets (1 1/4 pound) with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet (nonstick or seasoned cast-iron). When hot, swirl in a combo of oil and butter. Add the fish and cook for a couple minutes a side. Remove from the heat, pour over the relish-sauce. . Voila!
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