Stuffed flounder advice

Hey ya'll I've got a nice big flounder, about 18 inches without the head in the freezer, and I wanna stuff and bake him. Most recipes are calling for shrimp, but I'm gonna use scallops and crabmeat. Question is this: Should I cook the crab and scallops before stuffing them into the flounder? I don't want the flounder to be overcooked and the stuff in the middle to not be done. I could bake or sautee it first, til it's not quite done, then stuff it in the fish and throw it in the oven. Any tips?

Replies

  • TriplecleanTripleclean Posts: 6,591 Officer
    Lets start with the the stuffing.
    The crab meat. You cant clean a raw crab and get the meat out, so it is more than likely cooked. The shrimp should be shelled and devaned, depending on the size I would split them down the middle in half. I also like to stuff with a little panko crumb and parsley and butter. Wait you said scallops, I guess they are bay scallops you could give them a quick saute on both sides, like 20 seconds each side to get that great scallop flavor. I would mix up the crab the scallops panko, pepper, parsley and a good touch of mayo and a touch of lemon juice and a snap of worchester sauce and tabasco.

    The fish is whole and headless? You have options like making a pocket and stuffing that, or just putting the stuffing under the fish or you could cut down the fish and stuff filets and roll them up.

    Baking is the way to go. I like to leave a little water on the bottom of the roasting pan to flash the fish first, letting the heat soak in.

    If you saute the scallops first and they are small all you ned to do is watch the inside temp of the stuffing and let it come up to around 130.

    Good luck post pics...

    Now the fish. You have to stuff the fish raw, any tiny amount of cooking and the fish will break.
    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ
  • ledslinger29ledslinger29 Posts: 837 Officer
    They are the big scallops, so I may need to sautee them a little longer. The flounder is gutted and deboned, cut down the line on the top of the fish, so everything can be stuffed inside. Thanks for the tips man.
  • I FA DATI FA DAT Posts: 553 Officer
    Hey John, I would at least half cook the scallops before adding to the Flounder and maybe cut in smaller pieces.

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    Stuffed.jpg

    Dinner.jpg
  • ledslinger29ledslinger29 Posts: 837 Officer
    That's kinda what I was thinkin too. I may add some cream and wine to the sauce..
  • ledslinger29ledslinger29 Posts: 837 Officer
    The flounder with scallops and crabs inside was turned out great...IFADAT's cookbook provided the details...
    05111942.jpg
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    Quite a meal with cucumber salad and goatcheese tomatoes.
  • jakedgejakedge Posts: 1,303 Officer
    Wow, tell me about the tomatoes. Just goat cheese on top and baked or broiled? Flounder looks great. I'm another fan of the Seasonal Florida cookbook. Excellent!
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    IMO, Triple clean is spot on, as to what to do with the components of your stuffing. If you have big sea scallops, then yes, cut them into bay scallop sizes, before you precook.

    The sauce is something I would add to the completed dish. You don't want the stuffing to be TOO moist while cooking. Try a "newburg" variety, made with cream and sherry or marsala wine. This goes very well with all shellfish.
    .......Rick
  • TriplecleanTripleclean Posts: 6,591 Officer
    :thumbsup Newburg
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  • ledslinger29ledslinger29 Posts: 837 Officer
    Get beefsteak tomatoes, cut the very top and very bottom off, then cut them in half. Drizzle with some EVOO, some salt and pepper then put half goat and half feta cheese on top. Cook them on the grill or broil in oven until the cheese starts to brown. I cut the scallops into smaller pieces and sauteed them in white wine and butter until they were almost done, then pulled them off and stirred them in with green onions, celery, butter, minced garlic, an egg, panko, and parsley. It was freakin awesome.
  • jakedgejakedge Posts: 1,303 Officer
    Thanks for the info on the tomatoes. I'm smoking baby backs tomorrow and I think I'll throw some tomatoes on as well.
  • Jettyrat3200Jettyrat3200 Posts: 148 Deckhand
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    This is how we cook ours. we cut everything in 1/2 which makes 4 of them.... This is one of the few recipes with shrimp in the stuffing!:full
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    Get beefsteak tomatoes, cut the very top and very bottom off, then cut them in half. Drizzle with some EVOO, some salt and pepper then put half goat and half feta cheese on top. Cook them on the grill or broil in oven until the cheese starts to brown. I cut the scallops into smaller pieces and sauteed them in white wine and butter until they were almost done, then pulled them off and stirred them in with green onions, celery, butter, minced garlic, an egg, panko, and parsley. It was freakin awesome.

    I'll bet it was. Stuffed flounder is not something I have done often, because we just don't get those nice doormats in the Keys. However, I have used Jettyrat's style of presentation with small trout fillets and it came out unbelieveably good.
    .......Rick
  • I FA DATI FA DAT Posts: 553 Officer
    Thanks John! That Flounder was awesome! Thanks for having me over for dinner. The Tomatoes were also really good. I'm going to give those a try when my Big Tomatoes get ripe. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and we can get out and shoot some more! :machinegun
  • FS DavidFS David Posts: 297 Deckhand
    Makes me want to go flounder fishing.
    I put this up on the front page of the kitchen section.
    Great pics of the whole flounder cut to stuff, too.
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    Here's a question (if it's not too late for this thread).....Can a flounder be skinned, much in the same way we can do a dolphin? Talking about scoring the top and bottom and pulling the skin off in one piece...and then filleting? Seems to me it might work, at least for the top half or so.

    I never ate the skin of a flounder and was thinking that if you folded the skinless pieces over the top as pictured.....then toward the end of cooking, you could baste with garlic butter and dust on a little paprika or chile powder. Then finish under the broiler until nice and golden. Just a thought.
    .......Rick
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 7,984 Moderator
    You can filet and skin flounder no problem. I'm not sure why you'd want to for a stuffed flounder though. If yours is in fact pretty large, I would recommend that you score the skin in order to let some of the moisture out of the flesh. Otherwise it can get kind of soupy if you're not careful.
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • TriplecleanTripleclean Posts: 6,591 Officer
    I can skin lemon sole so I am sure if I need to I could skin a flounder. I used to skin halibut every day. That skin peeling method of dolphin I can't answer. As to my opionion about flounder, rice flour and wok fried and then served with a black bean, garlic sauce.
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  • JW_Ivey01JW_Ivey01 Posts: 154 Officer
    The flounder with scallops and crabs inside was turned out great...IFADAT's cookbook provided the details...
    05111942.jpg
    05111943.jpg
    120511_004.jpg
    120511_003.jpg
    Quite a meal with cucumber salad and goatcheese tomatoes.
    Wow, that looks awesome.:thumbsup
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 7,984 Moderator
    I'm not wild about shrimp in mine. I use almost all crab meat and then bay sallops and occasionally stone crab. It's unfortunate that I can't get fresh bay scallops and stone crab at the same time (seasons don't overlap) but scallops do freeze pretty well.

    Here was the result of a little bay trip last fall...

    flounderstart.jpg?t=1337087226
    flounderdone.jpg?t=1337087226
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • jakedgejakedge Posts: 1,303 Officer
    Wow, what a pile of beautiful seafood. I'd use the flounder for bait to get the rest!
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    You can filet and skin flounder no problem. I'm not sure why you'd want to for a stuffed flounder though. If yours is in fact pretty large, I would recommend that you score the skin in order to let some of the moisture out of the flesh. Otherwise it can get kind of soupy if you're not careful.

    This is exactly my reason for asking about skinning the fish.....hopefully to let more moisture escape.....cuz u iz 'zactly correct on that, and I hate mushy fish.

    Skinning flounder fillets is a no brainer but if one could skin the top of the fish before opening it up, it would make for a nice presentation after stuffing. However, if this skinning technique is not possible with flounder, I think I'll just borrow from my old presentation and remove the two top fillets and skin them. Fill the carcass with stuffing and then just lay the fillets back over the top. Of course, then you would have to add add a little melted garlic butter at times, to keep the top from drying out....details....minor details...
    .......Rick
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 7,984 Moderator
    Yeah, I guess that would work.

    As mentioned above, precook your scallops and then the only significant moisture you have to contend with is that from the flesh of the flounder. If you'll look in my cooked pic, you'll see where I scored it. Generally this will do the trick. I like leaving the skin on mine because at the end I'll drizzle butter over the top and crank the heat up for a little bit and then even the broiler. This turns the skin into a nice salty buttery crunchy piece of texture to go with the moist and flaky meat. Personally, I would not want to lose that addition to the dish.

    On a whole new topic, any off yall ever cut the two havels away from the backbone, and then slowly rolled the flesh back while cutting the bones away form the dorsal and anal fins. You can eventually turn the whole booger inside out and then you're left with essentially a bag of bonless flounder. I did this once, stuffed it with mostly crab and scallops and then scored the top. It worked okay, but it got pretty soupy and was nowhere near worth the effort. I'd like to come up with a better application for the "bag of flounder" prep, though. Maybe a barely legal one, stuffed, chilled and then deep fried whole. Hmmmm? Interesting.

    EDIT: Cooking it on a broiler pan will also help a lot with getting rid of some of the mositure. I saw a few pics of flounder on cookie sheets / tin foil. Nothing wrong with that, but getting air to the bottom helps a lot too, as does a convection oven if you have one.
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • TriplecleanTripleclean Posts: 6,591 Officer
    You have to check the scallops first to see if they have been treated with phosphates..... thats the milky liquid.... if they have thats the liquid coming out during cooking and you will get all that excess water that ruins things.
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  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 7,984 Moderator
    Phosphates, huh? I've never bought bay scallops (usually make 3-4 trips each summer on my own), but I've had the milky liquid from them and they were caught by yours truly the day before or day of eating.

    I thik a lot of that liquid comes from low heat and not searing them well. Could be wrong. Granted, with the fresh stuff, it's never just tons of liquid like the big sea scallops (barf) from sea food market, but here is some.

    A couple years ago I started using mostly buter to sautee them and a cast iron skillet. The butter and that pan will actually put some color on them. If you're sauteing using EVOO and non-stick or stainless... get ready for the milk water!
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    So Panhandler....you're saying that flounder skin (if good and crispy) is good to eat? If so, this makes all the difference in the world to me, and I would be back to your technique.

    I don't quite understand what you meant by your "bag of boneless flounder.".....meaning that I always assumed that when stuffing a flounder that you (and everyone for that matter) removed the backbone and ribs before stuffing. It is very labor-intensive, but this is the way I do it.

    And I put my fish on the bottom rack in the oven at first.....kind of like a reverse broiler. This cooks the bottom of the fish. Then I move it to the broiler to cook the top half and make things all nice and golden.
    .......Rick
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 7,984 Moderator
    Yeah, I like that skin. If you get it crispy, it's no different than a fried bream!

    I don't typically remove the backbone. I just cut a slit down the back bone and stuff on top of it. Kind of bo-bo, but it does the trick and in the end you waste less meat that way. When it's time to serve, i cut though the stuffing down to th back bone and then over (like the fileting you've been wanting to do). You'll have a nice piece of meat sitting on top of stuffing. Do that dorsal and ventral, then I pick up the back bone, and toss it in the trash. Now cut the bottom one one in half (head to tail-wise) and put it meat side up next to, over, etc the other one. Presentation is fine and its way easy. DO make sure you scale the ever living daylights out of the bottom and to lesser extend the top before cooking. I typically don't eat the bottom skin because it does get slippery. The top will get nice and crunchy, though.

    The "bag of flounder" is where you don't cut that slit head to tail, where you tyipcally stuff them. Instead with some real strong kitchen sheers, you start snipping bones at the dorsal and ventral side. Snip, snip, snip, and then go in from front (top and bottom) with a deboning knife and seperate the flesh form the bone. As you do this you can actully begin to roll the meat and skin back. Eventually he's entirely indside out and the whole backbone is removed WITOUGH putting that slit that you see in all the flounder above (the one that through which the stuffing is stuffed).

    I did it once. It was a lot of work and you talk about mushy. Still a neat idea, thouh. I'd like to come up with a way to incorporate that way of remvoing the backbone into a dish that would dry it out better.
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • JimboleusJimboleus Posts: 20 Greenhorn
    Nicely done. My stuffing would have included small finely chopped shallot,or red oinion, and some celery. Sautéed in butter with fresh garlic and parsley until just tender.Then mixed in with the rest of the stuffing mixture( I like seasoned breadcrumbs).Hope you rubbed the inside of your fish with a little salt,pepper and lemon juice before baking.
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