Small whole flounder-Pocketed and Stuffed
First take the small, whole flounder, a rough-toothed fish scaler, a 9-inch-long, ultra-sharp, filleting knife, and a sanitary-safe cutting board and place them on your kitchen countertop.
Then in short, upward strokes begin removing the scales from both sides of the fish, working from the tail towards the head.
When that's been done, take the knife and remove the head by cutting just behind the gill cover from one side of the flounder to the other.
Finally, take the knife tip, scrape away the entrails from the body cavity, and wash the fish thoroughly under cool running water until clean.
Now remove the backbone from the fish and create the pocket that you will fill with stuffing. To do this, first pat the fish dry on both sides with paper towels. Then, with the head end of the flounder facing you and the tail pointing away from you on a 90-degree angle, insert the knife tip into the flounder parallel to its backbone, using the backbone as a guide. In other words, you want to slide the entire knife blade into the fish from the head all the way to the tail.
Then in small circular motions, again while using the backbone as a guide, cut away the meat from the bone, working from the midline of the fish outward to the fins. If you do this procedure properly, you will create a hollow pocket on the topside of the fish. Then when complete, simply flip the flounder over onto its white side and repeat the process.
When you're done, there should be a pocket on the top and a pocket on the bottom with the exposed backbone in the middle.
At this point, set the knife aside, push the meat of the fish downward toward the tail, and-with a pair of scissors-cut through the backbone at the top of the tail and discard it completely. Now you got the entire inside of the flounder ready to stuff and the outside skin remains unbroken. Note: It might take a few tries before you really master this procedure, but eventually you'll become quite good at it. In fact, after practicing a while, you'll even learn to also remove the fin bones from the outer edges of the fish!
Now set the flounder aside momentarily until you prepare the stuffing mix. To do that, you will need:
1/4 stick butter
3/4 cup cocktail smokies, finely diced
3/4 cup onion, celery, bell pepper, parsley, and garlic mix
1/2 lb. raw salad shrimp, peeled
2 cups fresh bread crumbs from sliced bread
1/2 cup canned chicken broth
2 tsps. Frank Davis Seafood Seasoning, divided
1 whole egg, beaten
In a 10-inch non-stick skillet, melt the butter and saute the diced smoke sausage until it lightly browns.
Then drop in the chopped vegetable seasonings and the peeled shrimp. Stir both these ingredients until fully combined and cook until the shrimp turn pink.
Then remove the pan from the fire, fold in the fresh bread crumbs, the chicken broth, the seafood seasoning, and the raw egg.
Now toss everything together once again until a moist, but lightly crumbly, stuffing forms.
At this point, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray a baking pan with a light coating of Pam.
Then generously sprinkle the inside and the outside of the flounder with the second teaspoon of seafood seasoning and pack the hollowed-out fish with the stuffing.
All that's left to do is to place the flounder on the pre-sprayed baking pan and slide it into the upper portion of the oven. It should take about 20-30 minutes to fully cook (depending upon the size of the fish), and is considered ready to serve when the fish skin turns toasty and the meat flakes easily. For a little extra richness, baste the stuffed flounder with melted butter several times as it bakes.
Medium Flounder Fillets-Broiled Flounder Rollups:
Medium-size flounder for 'rollups':
Extra-sharp, flexible filleting knife
Sanitary-safe cutting board
Handful of long wooden toothpicks
Oven-safe non-stick skillet
When you're ready to begin, place the flounder (unscaled, ungutted, and head on) on the cutting board with the head facing left and the tail facing right.
Then make a cut directly behind the head from one side of the flounder to the other, slicing all the way down to the backbone. Now turn the fish so that it is positioned 90-degrees away from you (tail pointed towards you).
Then starting at the crosscut, cut into the dark side of the flounder with the knife tip-cut all the way down to the backbone and follow the lateral line all the way from the head to the tail.
Then working on one quarter of the fish at a time, begin slicing the fillet away from the backbone from the initial centerline cut out towards the outside fins.
If you use the backbone properly as a guide, the 'quarter fillet' should lift straight up. To remove it completely, simply lift it and cut the outer edge loose from the fins.
Repeat the procedure on the opposite dark-side quarter, then flip the flounder over and do the same technique on the white side.
When all four fillets have been removed, place them on the cutting board scales side down and with the filleting knife separate the meat from the skin on each one.
At this point, discard the scales and skin, wash the fillets thoroughly under cool running water, pat them dry with paper towels, and set them aside.
When you're ready to cook, preheat the broiler to 550-degrees, put the fillets back on the cutting board, and 'double-fillet' the thick pieces once again by cutting them in half lengthwise (this will give you a total of 6 fillets). To prep the fish for the broiler you will need:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. Frank Davis Seafood Seasoning
6 strips lean bacon
2 cups shrimp/sausage stuffing, optional *
1 can Campbell's Golden Mushroom Soup
6 Tbsp. fresh parsley, minced
1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced
Place the fillets on a sheet of waxed paper on the countertop and brush them liberally with the olive oil.
Then sprinkle onto each fillet-on both sides-the seafood seasoning. Next, lay on top of each fillet a strip of bacon (and place a generous amount of stuffing on top of the bacon if you choose to use it).
Then, starting at the pointy end of the fillets, roll them up 'jellyroll' fashion and pin them with a toothpick.
Once again sprinkle on a little seafood seasoning, set the rollups in the non-stick skillet, dollop a couple of tablespoons of golden mushroom soup over each one, and slide the skillet under the broiler (the oven rack should be about 4-6 inches from the element).
Broil the fillets about 8 to 10 minutes until they are toasty brown and sizzling all over. Serve piping hot.
Large Flounders-Fried Nuggets:
First, place a high-sided fry pan on the stovetop, fill it up half way with peanut or corn oil, and heat the oil to 375 degrees.
Then fillet the flounders as directed above for rollups; but instead of double-filleting them lengthwise, cut the fillets crosswise into 1-1/2 inch strips to create chunky bite size fish 'nuggets.'
Then when you're ready to eat, wet the fillets, dredge them in fish fry (I recommend my fish fry to get a good crunchy nugget), and drop them into the hot oil.
When they turn a rich golden brown and feel 'crusty' to the touch, remove them from the fry pan and drain them on several layers of paper towels.
And for a little extra 'spice,' while they're still piping hot sprinkle on a little Frank Davis Sprinkling Spice. It's the coup'd grace that puts it over the edge!
Each of these flounder recipes goes beautifully alongside a big bowl of Cajun Red Hots (potatoes poached to a creamy tenderness in spicy seafood boil). Best way to prepare them is to put a couple of pounds of B-size creamer potatoes into boiling water, stir in enough Frank Davis Seafood Boil to bring a tear or two to your eyes, and 'slow poach' the 'taters until they are fork tender.
Then, while they are still hot, slather on some butter and a big dollop of sour cream. I suggest that as the perfect contrast you also serve up a cold, crisp lettuce wedge doused with Thousand Island dressing. That's eatin' good, yeah, y'all!