Sunday, April 03, 2005

Sunday Recipe Blog

Flounder Filets with Dill & Garlic Bechamel Sauce, Glazed Baby Carrots, Buttered Turnips, and Garlic Potatoes

4-6 small flounder filets
4-5 medium potatoes
10-12 fresh baby carrots
1-2 medium turnips
1 strip bacon
4-5 sprigs fresh dill leaves (remove from coarser stalks)
4-5 cloves garlic
3/4C milk + 1/4C heavy or whipping cream
4T butter or margarine
2T white flour
1T honey
2T sour cream
1 quartered lemon

[This meal requires the cook to manage several operations at once in order to ensure that all the elements will be finished at the same time. Best engineer the order of preparation and cooking ahead of time.]

Carrots: Remove tops and tails from 10-12 fresh baby carrots. Pare and cook whole in salted water. Drain, add 1T butter and 1T honey. Agitate over low flame until reduced and carrots are glazed.

Turnips: Dice 1-2 medium peeled turnips and cook in salted water at a slow boil until just tender. Drain, and add 1-2 tsp butter, and salt and pepper to taste.

Potatoes: Pare 4-6 potatoes, cut coarsely and boil slowly in salted water until just tender. Drain and add 1T minced garlic, 2T sour cream, and 1T butter. Stir until potatoes are slightly smashed and coated, sprinkle a pinch of minced dill leaves over the finished potatoes.

While the above are being prepared, prepare the Bechamel sauce:

Bechamel sauce: Mince 1 strip of bacon and fry until done in the skillet in which the filets will be cooked. Remove the bacon bits to a paper towel to add to the Bechamel sauce; add floured filets to the hot bacon grease (see below).

In a separate skillet, melt 2T butter then add about 2T white flour and cook over low heat for 5-8 minutes to make a light roux. Add 3/4C milk +1/4C cream and stir over low heat. Add 1-2T minced fresh dill, 1T minced garlic, the bacon bits and a dash of salt and white pepper to taste. Continue stirring until thickened.

Flounder Filets: Dredge 4 small Flounder filets in white flour. Pan-fry filets over medium heat in the bacon grease (see above). These filets cook in just a minute or two - DON'T leave them to fry for more than a couple of minutes on each side! Remove filets from pan to serving plates, and squeeze a lemon quarter over each, then pile on the vegetables, which are just now perfectly done.

Ladle Bechamel sauce over the filets, and serve with the glazed carrots, buttered turnips, or/and the garlic smashed potatoes. Garnish sparingly with chopped dill leaves.

Next (Salad) Course: Follow the flounder/vegetables course with a lightly dressed mixed greens salad if desired - add peeled orange sections or dried cranberries to provide a tart contrast to the mild fish and starchy vegetable course. (At the host's disgression, at this point in the meal, any obnoxious guests *could* be made to suck on a spent lemon quarter instead of being served a nice salad, and thenceforth barred outright from partaking of the forthcoming dessert course, and sent packing.)

Clog-wife and I really enjoyed this meal for our Sunday dinner. Unlike me, she is NO fan of turnips - which explains the garlic potatoes in addition to the turnips, which I love, and the carrots.

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