Pecan Crusted Flounder & Grits

The other night Chris whipped up this incredibly easy, rich, delicious flounder dish. I was so pleasantly surprised.  To no fault of his own, it had been so long since he cooked dinner & I relished every minute. Grace was asleep so I didn’t feel rushed to eat as I often do. I ate slow, sipped on my wine & forgot how much I love being served a good meal.

Some how when I cook, I manage to dirty every dish in the kitchen, nearly burn the house down in the process & take sometimes a few hours to get dinner on the table. Chris decides to make dinner one night, he leaves no trace of cooking & has a delicious meal on the table in under 20 minutes. Darn him.

 

Pecan crusted flounder over grits

Serves 2

For the flounder:

2 USA wild caught fresh flounder fillets

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 pecan meal or bread crumbs (Priesters is the best!)

1-2 sprigs each of the following herbs, finely chopped: sage (about 3 leaves), thyme, marjoram, oregano, parsley

For the grits:

1 cup yellow grits

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Splash of buttermilk

Dash of salt, pepper & Tony’s

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 375 & line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Gently dry the flounder with some paper towels. Coat the flounder in olive oil then toss in the pecan meal. Place the flounder on the baking sheet & sprinkle with the chopped fresh herbs. Since we wanted to let Grace try the flounder, Chris didn’t salt it. However a tiny bit of salt wouldn’t hurt before you put the fish in the oven. Bake the fish for 10-15 minutes depending on your oven & the size of the fillets. Do not over cook your fish! Flounder does not take long to cook. It is thin & delicate & should be white & flaky.  To make the grits, bring 2 cups of salted water to a boil & stir in the grits. Turn the grits down to a simmer & stir in the buttermilk & seasoning. Cook until liquid is absorbed & grits have a nice creamy consistency. Serve flounder over grits & enjoy!

Tip 1: Don’t over water your herbs! My horticulturist mother told me once that herbs need some dryness in the soil. This causes them to produce more oil yielding stronger tasting, more potent herbs. She is so right. We barely water our herb bed & as a result we have the most potent, delicious tasting sage, oregano, parsley & more. If asked what I use most when cooking it would have to be fresh herbs grown in the back yard. Likely because they’re the one ingredient i’m never out of!   I use them almost daily to dress up a salad, cold teas, omelets, or in this case fish.

Tip 2: Whenever we want  meat, fish or vegetables to have a breaded feel & taste we opt for pecan meal over breadcrumbs or flour. Not only is it a healthy alternative, it provides for a nice added nutty flavor & outer crispness but not to over powering. Give it a try! You can keep a jar of any nut meal in the back of the fridge for months without it spoiling.

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