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Baked Stuffed Flounder

I've always loved this classic American recipe. It is very versatile, and comes in so many wonderful variations, but sadly restaurants rarely do it justice anymore. Dear wife actually sent me on the quest for truly inspiring baked stuffed flounder after being disappointed yet again when we were out for dinner recently.

Not surprisingly Mr. Reliable provided me with the base recipe for which I was looking.  After a minor change or two this was the delicious result - it drew major kudos from the family.  Serves 4 generously.

1½ - 2 pounds fresh flounder filets
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach
1 medium lemon, zested
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup heavy cream (see notes)
¼ cup dry white wine
10 ounces sharp cheddar, grated
¼ to ½ cups bread crumbs
3-4 cups cooked white rice, cooled

Preheat oven to 350º F.

Thaw the spinach and squeeze dry with paper towels removing as much moisture as you can.

In a medium sauté pan over low heat melt the butter; add the onion and a pinch of salt and sweat until translucent.  Add the garlic and continue to cook until aromatic, about one minute.  Add the spinach and lemon zest and cook until just heated through.  Season with the salt and pepper, add the parsley and stir to combine.  Mix in just enough bread crumbs to loosely bind the mixture.

Place the heavy cream and wine into a saucepan over medium heat.  Once the mixture begins to simmer, gradually add the cheese and stir until melted. Set aside and keep warm.

If the filets are large, cut in half vertically.  Season each filet on both sides with salt and pepper. Divide the spinach mixture evenly among the filets and roll the fish around the mixture. Place the rice into a 2½ quart casserole dish and spread evenly.  Place the rolled fish over the rice seam side down.

Pour over the cheese sauce and place in the oven for 25 minutes. Allow to cool for five minutes before serving.

Notes:

For a lower fat dinner substitute fat free evaporated milk (look for the cans in the baking section of the supermarket) for the heavy cream. You'll be amazed at how much fat you can cut out without sacrificing a lot of flavor.

 

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