Sunday, March 7, 2010

Getting Braver

Confession: in my whole life, the only raw meat I have worked with has been sausage...that is, until yesterday! I've been wanting to work with meat for months but I just couldn't get up the courage to do it. Yesterday, while I was at the farmer's market, I was looking for ricotta cheese. I stopped by one of the cheese places and they didn't have ricotta, but they did have European Style Lemon Shallot Butter. The man said that it was great with any kind of meat, especially fish, so I decided that I would go for it! I went to the fish man at the market and told him that I have never handled raw meat, but that I had gotten the butter and I wanted to make my first attempt. He sold me half a pound of flounder and said to just sauté it with the butter-easy enough. The flounder had been caught the day before and looked great. Quality of the meat is very important to me and another reason why I haven't attempted cooking fish yet-the fish at my supermarket just doesn't cut it for me.

Flounder with Lemon Shallot Butter and Fresh Thyme

A few Tablespoons European Lemon Shallot Butter
Fresh Thyme
1/2 Pound flounder
Freshly ground pepper and salt

Melt the butter in a skillet on medium-high. If you don't have any herbed butter, regular butter will do just fine. European butter is very high in fat content (80-90% instead of 30% in the butter we're used to), which gives it a much different flavor. Because of this, you don't need to use as much of the European butter as you would use normal butter. Add the fresh thyme, pepper and salt.
Meanwhile, wash the flounder in cold water, then dry it and season the fillets on each side with salt and pepper.
Place the fillets in the skillet and cook from 1-4 minutes, depending on how thick the fillet is. Flip the fillets and cook on the other side from 1-4 minutes. When they are cooked completely, the should flake easily and be opaque in the middle.

I still can't believe cooked with raw fish! And it wasn't near as bad of an experience as I thought it would be! The fillets didn't event feel that gross when I was working with them. They almost felt cool. I'm so excited that I can finally use fish. This dish was really satisfying. The butter was so smooth and worked perfectly, paired with such a delicately flavored fish. I see a lot more seafood dishes in my near future.

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