Seafood Stuffed Flounder

Course : Cajun
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Ingredients:

1 Cup vegetable oil for frying
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
6 fillets flounders -- (see note)
1/4 teaspoon dried sweet basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 teaspoons salt
---flounder seasoning mix---
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup green onions -- chopped fine
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 medium shucked oysters -- (med. size)
1 1/2 cups basic seafood stock
1/2 pound small shrimp
3/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 pound unsalted butter
1 cup green bell peppers -- chopped
1 1/2 cups onions -- chopped very fine
3 slices bacon -- diced
---main ingredients---
1/2 teaspoon gumbo file -- (optional)
1/2 teaspoon sweet basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon salt
---seasoning mix---
 

Preparation / Directions:

NOTE: Flounder should be 1 to 1-1/4 pounds each, boned, heads removed and brown side split down the center. Combine the first seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl; mix well and set aside. In a large skillet fry the bacon over high heat until crisp. Add onions, celery and bell peppers. Stir well and sauté until vegetables start to get tender, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 3 tablespoons of the butter and the white and red peppers; stir until butter is melted. Stir in the shrimp and the first seasoning mix. Continue cooking for about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping pan bottom well. Stir in the stock and the oysters; cook and stir about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Use a slotted spoon to spoon the seafood vegetable mixture into a food processor or blender, leaving the liquid in the skillet; process mixture until smooth, about 15 to 30 seconds. Return mixture to skillet, stirring to blend with liquid; turn heat to high, and cook until mixture starts sticking excessively, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping pan bottom well. Remove from heat. Meanwhile, in a 1-quart saucepan melt the remaining 6 tablespoons butter over high heat; when almost melted, remove from heat, then add 1/4 cup of the flour and stir until mixture is smooth. Return to high heat for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Turn heat to high under the stuffing mixture; gradually add the butter-flour mixture, stirring constantly until well blended. If mixture starts "weeping" oil at this point, stir in about 2 tablespoons more stock or water.) Continue cooking until very thick, about 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the green onions and cook 1 minute more, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan. Cool slightly, then refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes. In a small bowl thoroughly combine the flounder seasoning mix ingredients. Open the flounders for stuffing. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of the seasoning mix on the inside of each flounder. Mound 1/4 cup of the cheddar cheese in the center of each, then spoon a scant 1/2 cup chilled stuffing on top of the cheese. Close the fish so the stuffing doesn't show. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of the seasoning mix on each side of each chilled flounder, patting it in with your hands. In a pan (cake and pie pans work well) combine the remaining seasoning mix with the remaining 1/2 cup flour. In a large, heavy skillet heat 1/4 inch oil over high heat to about 350F. Meanwhile, place each flounder (split side up) in the seasoned flour to coat only the bottom surface. Carefully slide each flounder into the hot oil and fry the bottom until it's crispy, crunchy and brown-brown!-- about 3 to 4 minutes. Without draining, place the flounder, still split side up, on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 550F until the fish are cooked and well browned on top, about 10 minutes (after about 4 minutes, drape a piece of aluminum foil over the tails so they won't burn). Serve immediately as is, or topped with Hollandaise Sauce, Shrimp and Crab Buttercream Sauce, or Béarnaise Sauce From Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kit


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