Baked Flounder with Parmesan Crumbs

by Cate on July 13, 2009

Baked Flounder with Parmesan Crumbs

We know that eating fish is good for us and we should have it at least once (twice?) a week.  But if you’re anything like me, good intentions fall by the wayside and it doesn’t happen as much as it should.  It’s too expensive.  It’s too complicated.  Pasta is easier.  The kids won’t eat it.  Pick your excuse, we all do it.  BUT…

With this recipe, we can get rid of at least two excuses … the expense and the complicated nature of making fish.  I found this recipe in a special edition of Food & Wine, and it’s from Nigel Slater, a popular British chef.  When you see how easy it is to make, you won’t hesitate to make it again and again.  And the expense?  Well, yes, fish can be sometimes expensive, but look for what’s on sale.   Although the recipe calls for flounder, you can easily substitute it with another firm, white fish.  Flounder was a whopping $12.99 a pound, so I went with the more economical choice of tilapia this time, at $5.99 a pound.

Now that one last pesky excuse … the kids.  Madeline would totally eat it, but she also tries to eat rocks from the garden and Eli’s dog food, so that’s not saying much.  Nick wants no part of most fish.  Sometimes dinner gets to be about what you actually want to eat, and not necessarily what the kids will eat.  The rest will figure itself out.  That’s what leftovers are for, right?

As for the recipe itself?  Delicious.  Mix just five ingredients together, ingredients you likely have on hand, top the fish with it and bake for15 minutes.  I kid you not.  It smells wonderful while it’s cooking, and even better when it comes out.  It will be hard to stop yourself from picking at the little cheesy bits on the bottom of the baking dish.  Well, I found it hard.  You may have greater self-restraint.

I halved the recipe, getting two portions as the end result.  I ate one, and saved the second for lunch the next day, where it ended up warmed on a crusty hard roll with melted sharp Cheddar and juicy Jersey tomatoes.  My mouth is just watering thinking of it again.  Oh, but if you eat the leftovers, please, please, please do not take them to work.  Fish + microwave = unhappy coworkers.  Let’s just say I know from experience.  And no, it wasn’t me.

P.S.  And that pretty blue plate?  One of the plates that Nick picked out for me for Mother’s Day, to specifically use for taking food photos. 

Baked Flounder with Parmesan Crumbs
Recipe courtesy of Nigel Slater

4 flounder fillets (2 pounds total)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large baking dish, season the fish fillets with salt and pepper. Mix the Parmesan with the bread crumbs, melted butter and olive oil and sprinkle over the fillets. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the fish is cooked and the topping is golden. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

doggybloggy July 13, 2009 at 11:03 pm

that is a pretty blue plate and it showcases the food perfectly – we have no problem eating fish around here so this recipe is a ‘gimme’ and I am going to make some ‘crumby’ fish real soon…..

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Joanne July 14, 2009 at 8:08 am

The sound of this on that sandwich with tomatoes and cheddar is making me drool. I love fish and know that I should eat it more, but for me the expense is the killer!

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Sarah Caron July 14, 2009 at 8:58 am

Yum, that sounds great. Around here, Will will eat pretty much everything … unless it’s too spicy. Paige will too, but she is my wild card. Some days she loves a dish and some days she hates it. She’s not picky, she’s finicky. Gosh, that sounds like a post.

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Cathy July 14, 2009 at 9:05 am

I for one would be picking the cheesy bits out of the pan too. I love tilapia – it’s my favourite go to “economical” fish. Given a choice of anything I’d always have halibut though.

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ttfn300 July 14, 2009 at 9:17 am

haha, i would totally be picking the cheesy bits off the bottom of the dish with you :)

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Ramona July 14, 2009 at 9:22 am

My DH could eat fish 7 days a week. 2 or 3 times a day. I’m the one that only wants it once a week (if then). Your recipe does sound good and will have to give it a try.

I like it because those are all ingredients I keep on hand. Thanks for posting.

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Kalyn July 14, 2009 at 9:53 am

Sounds great! I have a recipe that’s similar to this but it uses almond meal instead of bread crumbs. I think I’ll try this one too.

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Debbie July 14, 2009 at 10:50 am

The recipe sounds great. I could eat fish every night. I don’t eat it as often as I should…..

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Patsy July 14, 2009 at 12:35 pm

You’ve got my mouth watering for this dish! I always have good intentions, but sometimes none of the fish looks “good” when I hit the store to pick it up… may have to try again this week!

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FireMom July 14, 2009 at 1:03 pm

(New reader here. Subscribing immediately.)

I’m saving this recipe for when we get back from camp. (We leave Thursday.) If it turns out well, I’ll take it on the road with me for our beach vacation next month and please everyone on the trip! Hooray!

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Claire July 14, 2009 at 8:56 pm

I LOVE tilapia! I like flounder, but tilapia has a little more “oomph” if you ask me. This sounds just delicious…and I love that Nick gave you plates for photography for the blog. He knows his Mama! ;-)

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sara July 14, 2009 at 11:41 pm

yes, I am liking this. I get my healthy fish and my incredibly delicious parm cheese. Sounds like a winner to me.

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maris July 15, 2009 at 12:39 am

Sounds great! A good way to use some of the big hunk of parmesan I have in my fridge.

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Magda July 15, 2009 at 7:21 pm

i am still jealous of your tomatoes

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lisaiscooking July 16, 2009 at 3:46 pm

This sounds like a great fish meal! And, you’re so right about fish and microwaves.

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noobcook July 16, 2009 at 10:48 pm

I love to cook fish at home because it’s cheaper and fresher. Love the addition of parmesan which goes so well with white fish.

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ure July 20, 2009 at 8:55 pm

Just love fish, and I want this right now ;) Sounds – and looks – so good…

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Cassie January 14, 2010 at 2:31 pm

This recipe sounds quick and easy. My best friend and I are making flounder tonight for our family and she hasnt a clue on how to make it. I found this recipe and she and I will be making it together! Im the cook…Shes the official taste tester. I doubt there will be any problems but wish us luck!

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Elizabeth January 24, 2011 at 11:53 pm

I made this for dinner and yes, it was delicious, BUT wow, way too much butter. Next time I’d use 1T of butter, 2T of olive oil – . With all the butter and cheese, it had a highly laxative effect on some of our family members.

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