Stuffed flounder is a popular Gulf Coast treat. Chef Thabuis uses crab meat and crawfish tails in his stuffing, adding a Louisiana touch.
- Flounders - 4 small, about 12 to 16 ounces each
- Celery - 4 tablespoons, chopped
- Parsley - 4 tablespoons, chopped
- Green Onion - 6 tablespoons, chopped
- Bay Leaves - 2
- Basil - 1/4 teaspoon
- Thyme - 1/4 teaspoon
- Mushrooms - 8, sliced
- Bread Rolls - 2, about 4 inches long, chopped
- Half-and-half - 1 cup
- Eggs - 2
- Garlic - 1 tablespoon, minced
- Dry white wine - 1 cup
- Crab Meat - 12 ounces
- Crawfish Tails - 12 ounces, peeled
- Parmesan Cheese - 2 ounces, grated
- Unsalted Butter - 1-1/2 cups, softened
- Lemon Juice - 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons
- Madeira sauce or brown gravy - 4 tablespoons
Chop the head, tail, and fins off the fish. Make an incision down the middle of the dark side of the fish. Turning the knife on its side, make an incision along the bone all the way to the edge of the fish on both sides of the backbone, creating flaps. Lift open and remove the bones. Set aside in the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 450 F. Place the celery, parsley, green onions, bay leaves, basil, thyme, mushrooms, bread rolls, half-and-half, and eggs in a food processor and blend well. Add the garlic and 1/2 cup of wine and blend again briefly. Put the mixture in a bowl and stir in the crab, crawfish, and cheese. Put this mixture into a baking dish and spread 1/4 cup of the butter on top. Bake for 30 minutes.
Keep the oven set at 450 F. Stuff the flounders with the baked dressing and put in an ovenproof pan, stuffed side up. Add the rest of the wine, 1/4 cup of the butter, and 1/4 cup of the lemon juice to the pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
Take the fish from the oven. Remove the skin and any remaining bones. In a saucepan, whisk together 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice and the Madeira sauce. Gradually whisk in the remaining butter. Heat through, but do not boil.
To serve: Place a stuffed flounder on each of four warmed serving plates. Spoon sauce around each fish.