Wanted to follow up with the flounder stock.  Normally you want to remove the gills of the flounder because they are red and normally bloody, which in return would turn your stock or broth cloudy.  For stocks in general you want to have some aromatics (vegetables, herbs, spices)  and the main ingredient in this case the Flounder skeleton.   Stock is just a fancy word for a flavored water, but in cooking this is what will take your dish to another level. 

Basic Ingredients

1 whole flounder skeleton
1 gallon of water
3 carrots cut in half
1 whole garlic bulb cut in half
3 stalks of celery
1 onion cut in quarters
2 bay leaves
1 sprig of thyme
2 sprig of parsley
1 tbsp black peppercorns

Optional if you have them (celery root, parsnips, leek tops, mushroom stems,)

Place all the ingredients into a large stock pot and cover with cold water.   Bring to a boil and turn down to a light simmer.   Cook for roughly 3 hours or so skimming off any fat in the process.  I reduced (cooked) the stock all the way down to about 2 1/2 cups and then strained through a fine mesh strainer into a small sauce pot.  I will continue the whole flounder dish and what I made for dinner.

Sauce Ingredients

2 1/2 cups of fish stock
1 lemon juiced
1/3 cup of capers with a little brine
1 tbsp chopped dill
1 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp cold water
salt and pepper to taste

Once you have the 2 1/2 cups in a sauce pot bring the stock back to a boil.  You want to skim off any fat again so that you don't have separation in your sauce.   Add the lemon juice, capers, dill and a pinch of salt and stir.   Then mix the cornstarch and water together in a small cup to make a slurry.  With a whisk, while the sauce is simmer hard, add the slurry stirring continually to the stock to thicken up the sauce.  It should thicken slightly right away.  Turn down to a simmer and cook another 5 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste.    The sauce should thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  If it is too thick then add a little water.   If it is not thick at all and still looks like water repeat the step with the cornstarch until you get the right consistency of a sauce.  Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning.  If it is bland keep adding seasoning until you get the results you want.  Don't just stop because this is the end of the recipe, cooking is all about adjusting to what the end product is so if it needs more lemon, or dill or capers then add it.  You or your guest will be eating it so you want it to taste perfect.

Now that you have the sauce you can do what ever you want with the fish.  Grill it, steam it, bake it, sear it. etc....  I'll share with you what I did and what I think was a fairly easy preparation but with great results in flavor.


6  4oz fillets of Flounder
2 tbsp of fresh ground black pepper
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 yellow sweet onion small diced
1 celery root peeled and small diced
1 tbsp of fresh minced garlic
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 tbsp chopped tarragon
1 cup of fresh fried garbanzo beans

For the veg add olive oil, onion, and celery root to a saute pan on medium high heat.  Add a pinch of salt to release the water from the vegetables.   Cook for about 4 minutes and then add the garlic.  Turn down the heat a bit if it gets to hot.  Cook for another 2 minutes or so until the vegetable are done.  Finish with tarragon, salt and pepper. 

For the fresh garbanzo beans just peel them and fry them in 350 degree oil for about a minute or two until they get golden brown.  (note. be careful because they can splatter and even explode a little bit so I would suggest a cover for the fryer the first minute. )  Strain and season with salt.

For the fish, drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil on the fillets and season aggressively with salt and black pepper on the fillet side.  In a big saute pan add the rest of the oil and heat on medium high heat and place the fillet in the pan with the bottom side of the fish up.  ( that means the pepper side is cooking).  Season the bottom side of the fish with a little salt and cook the fish for about 4 to 5 minutes or until the fish gets a nice golden brown crust.  The fish should cook 90% of the way on the first side.  So when you get that golden brown crust you turn the fish over and turn off the heat.  The fish only needs about a 30 seconds to a minute on this side because it should be almost done.  You want the fish to be nice and moist and you have to remember that everything continues to cook even after it is off the heat. 

Place two spoonfuls of celery root compote in a bowl, add the fish on top, ladle the sauce on top and sprinkle the garbanzo beans around.   And enjoy!