Thursday, July 21, 2011

Grandpa Mike Savino's Flounder Fillets

In some Italian families it is a Christmas Eve tradition to have the Feast of the 7 Fishes—"festa dei sette pesci.” This is in celebration of the wait of the midnight birth of baby Jesus. Some people even celebrate with up to 13 fishes, but typically it consists of 7 different seafood dishes.  My Grandpa Mike Savino always made his flounder fillets as one of those fishes. I've been eating it for as long as I can remember. This is one of my husband’s favorite dishes, and he doesn’t eat fish of any kind…except Grandpa Mike’s Flounder Fillets. Even though my husband never had the pleasure of meeting my grandfather he thinks of him every time we make this, as do the rest of us. Enjoy this with your loved ones, on Christmas Eve or any other eve, and we hope you create some wonderful memories of your own with these delicious flounder fillets. —Jill

Grandpa Mike's Flounder Fillets
6-8 pieces of wild caught fresh flounder fillets (boneless, skinless)
2 cups flour
4 eggs
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 lemon
1/2 cup of oil (olive, canola or vegetable)
1 large saute pan and 2 dishes or bowls for egg wash and breading

Crack the eggs into a dish and beat lightly for an egg wash
In the second dish mix the flour, salt and pepper

Dip each flounder fillet in the egg wash and then dredge in flour mixture. For this fish we use what we call the "double dip" method, which means you do the egg wash/flour process twice for each fillet.

After dredging the fish, coat the bottom of the pan with oil. This next step is crucial: Make sure the oil is hot before placing the fish fillets in the oil. Put the oil on medium to high heat for about 3-4 minutes. You can check the temperature of the oil by dropping into it a small piece of flour. If bubbles form, the oil is ready. (Putting the fillets in the oil before the oil is ready will result in soggy fillets, and no one wants that!)

Once the oil is hot place the fillets (usually 2 at a time to prevent overcrowding) in the pan. Cook fish 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. If you flip the fish too early the breading could come off of the fish. I like to use a fork and gently lift the fish and check underneath to check it’s progress process after three minutes.

After all the fillets are cooked, place them on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil. When you are ready to serve, you can plate them however you like. We serve ours with lemon wedges, but tartar sauce is another option. 

P.S. Don’t throw away any leftovers! Cold flounder fillets are amazing on grilled Italian bread the next day for a great Italian fish sandwich.

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