- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 8 ounces spinach, stemmed, washed and spun dry
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 4 (2 1/2 to 3-ounce) flounder fillets
- 2 teaspoons Essence, recipe follows
- 1 (17.3-ounce) package frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Lemon Butter Sauce, recipe follows
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly grease the paper. Set aside.
Place a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter and add the garlic and spinach to the pan. Cook the garlic and spinach, using tongs to move the spinach from the bottom of the pan to the top, until the leaves are wilted and deep green in color, about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper and set aside to cool.
Arrange 1 sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface. Use a rolling pin to roll out the puff pastry to 1/8-inch thickness. Use parchment or tracing paper to draw a fish silhouette that stretches 8-inches from head to tail, and 5-inches at its widest point. Cut the fish stencil and use it to cut out 4 puff pastry fishes. Repeat the process with the remaining sheet of puff pastry, making 4 more puff pastry fishes. Use the rolling pin to roll 4 of the fish another 1/4-inch thinner, and the other 4 pieces, 3/4-of an inch thinner.
Season each piece of flounder with the Essence, and place on top of 1 of the smaller pastry fishes. It may be necessary to cut the flounder in half lengthwise and shingle it over itself to fit on the puff pastry leaving at least a 1/4-inch space all around.
Once all 4 portions of fish have been placed on the pastry, divide the sauteed spinach among the 4 and top with the larger pieces of puff pastry. Fold and pinch the edges to make a seal. Use some scrap puff pastry to cut out an eye for the fish and affix it to the head using water as glue. Cut a gill into the head of the fish with out cutting all the way through the puff pastry.
In a small bowl, combine the egg with 1 tablespoon of water and whisk vigorously to combine. Place the fish on the prepared pan, and brush the egg wash over each of the fish. Bake until the puff pastry is golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes. Let fish stand
for 5 minutes before serving with the Lemon Butter Sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley.
Lemon Butter Sauce:
1 cup dry white wine
1 lemon, quartered and chopped
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 sticks plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
Combine the wine, lemons and shallots in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced by half, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and mashing the lemons with the back of a spoon to break up into pieces. Add the cream and cook until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
Whisk in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, adding each piece before the previous one has been completely incorporated. Continue until all the butter is incorporated and the sauce coats the back of a spoon, removing the pan from the heat periodically to prevent the sauce from getting too hot and breaking. Add the salt and pepper, and whisk to blend.
Remove from the heat and strain, pressing down with the whisk, through a fine mesh strainer, into a small bowl. Fold in the parsley and serve immediately or cover to keep warm.
Yield: 4 servings
Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Yield: 2/3 cup
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch, Published by William and Morrow, 1993.