James Campbell - Mediterranean Fish I
Mediterranean Fish I
James Campbell
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La Belle Cuisine - More Fish Recipes

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Fine Cuisine with Art Infusion

"To cook is to create. And to create well...is an act of integrity, and faith."

Spinach- and Ham-Stuffed Flounder Rolls



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"Fish, to taste right, must swim three times - in water, in butter, and in wine."
- Polish Proverb


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Friday, November 10, 2006

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  Jean Williams - Flounder
Jean Williams
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Spinach- and Ham-Stuffed Flounder Rolls
The Best of Gourmet
from The Editors of Gourmet, 1989, Condé Nast Books, Random House

Rare and Out of Print Books

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup finely chopped cooked ham
8 cups firmly packed spinach leaves removed from the stems (about 1 pound with stems), washed well, spun dry, and chopped fine
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
4 flounder fillets (about 2 pounds)
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste

In a large skillet melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over moderate heat, add the ham, the spinach, 2 tablespoons of the wine, the thyme, and the mustard, and cook the mixture, stirring, until the spinach is wilted and most of the excess liquid is evaporated. Transfer the spinach mixture to a bowl, season it with salt and pepper, and let it cool.

Halve the flounder fillets lengthwise along the backbone seam. Lay 1 piece of fish skinned side up on a work surface, season it with salt and pepper, and spread about 2 tablespoons of the spinach mixture over it. Beginning with the wide end, roll up the flounder jelly-roll fashion and secure the roll with a wooden pick. Make rolls with the remaining flounder in the same manner, using about 2 tablespoons of the spinach mixture for each roll and reserving the remaining spinach mixture for the sauce, and arrange the rolls in a buttered saucepan just large enough to hold them in one layer.

In a small [nonreactive] saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup wine, 1/2 cup water, and the bay leaves, bring the liquid to a boil, and pour the mixture over the flounder rolls. Poach the flounder fillets, covered, at a bare simmer for 6 to 8 minutes, or until they just flake when tested with a fork, transfer them with a slotted spoon to a platter, reserving the poaching liquid, and keep them warm, covered, in a preheated 150° F. oven.

In a small saucepan melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter over moderately low heat, add the flour, and cook the roux, whisking, for 3 minutes. Whisk in the reserved poaching liquid, the cream, and the reserved spinach mixture, bring the mixture to a boil, whisking, and simmer it, whisking, for 4 minutes. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve set over a small bowl, pressing hard on the solids, and season it with the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Divide the flounder rolls among 4 plates and pour some of the sauce over each serving. Serves 4.


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