Thursday, May 13, 2010

Easy Dinner: Panko Flounder

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I didn't grow up eating fish. My mother had been traumatized by my grandmother's cod cakes which were forced upon her each and every Friday 'cause that's what us Catholics had to do until Vatican 2. My father, on the other hand, loved it and always grilled a swordfish steak when my mother was out. Dad would offer my brother and I a taste, but remembering my mother's severe hatred of it, we'd refuse. Such a shame it took me until I was 14 to finally try it and realize it was pretty good. That first taste lead to deep experimentation with all sorts of fish and the many many ways to cook them. 

Now I'm a fish fanatic. I love it as much as I love meat and chocolate cake and cookies and fresh strawberries and spinach. With climate change and overfishing and fisheries threatening the oceans and rivers, I fear for our scaly friends and hope we can get our acts together to treat them well... and occasionally eat them too.

Baby girl also loves fish. Every Friday, our last stop at the farmer's market is the local wild-caught fish stand. mouthfuls of cheese, an apple in one hand, a carrot in the other, upon reaching the fish stand, baby girl starts to scoot the stroller back and forth and kick her legs and exclaim fishy! fishy! I want fishy! Sadly, there aren't any free samples at the fish stand. 

One of our absolute stand-by favorites, the thing I make in a flash after a long afternoon at the playground, is flounder breaded with panko crumbs. Think traditional fish sticks, but crunchy and fresh and in fish rather that stick form. I don't deep fry, just cook it over a high heat in a bit of olive oil. With a side of buttered noodles and salad, it's the perfect meal to satisfy and it's a great way to introduce your kids to fish. Enjoy!

Panko Flounder
(The great thing about this recipe is there are loads of ways to get creative. Try mixing fresh herbs or spices in with the panko. Or, after the flounder is ready, add a splash of lemon juice, some capers and cold butter to the pan and make a little sauce.)

What You'll Need:
1 lb Flounder Fillets
2 cups Panko
1-2 Eggs
Salt and Pepper

1 Lemon cut into wedges

Set a frying pan over medium-high heat. 

Crack the egg into a shallow dish and mix gently with a fork. Spread the panko out on a plate. Submerge the flounder fillets in the egg and then press them into the panko making sure to get it all over the fish. Place the fillets on a plate and add a  bit of salt and pepper. 

To cook, coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil and add the fillets salt and pepper side down. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until they're golden brown. Remove the fillets to a plate lined in paper towels and enjoy with a squeeze of lemon!

Approximate Cost:
Groceries: $5
Cost per Meal: Expect 3-4 servings
This Time Last Year: Chicken Sausage with Sauteed Spinach and Farro Noodles
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  1. I love fried fish! This looks delicious :)

  2. Yummy. I am a big fan of panko as a coating.

  3. Traumatized by cod cakes! Love it -- and this entree looks delicious.

  4. This looks amazing. Can't wait to try your recipe. All the local fish stores are opening since the summer season is beginning here on Cape Cod ...

  5. So simple! I've been experimenting with breadings. I need to add this to my list!

  6. I want to try this too. I did not grow up eating fish but I have been trying to cook with it more lately. That said, still haven't tried frying fish at home...

  7. I love your site. No matter how special the recipes sound you always make me feel like I can achieve the end result of a lovely meal! ~Meredith

  8. I've got to try this. Every time I try to cook fish fillets, they break apart. This looks like the answer- thanks!

  9. Great fillets. Thanks for the idea.

  10. sounds great, Peggy. have you ever tried panko breading with vegetables? I wonder how that'd work.



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