Ciao Italia Family Classics
Mary Ann returns to her family's humble beginnings to bring us a treasure trove of more than 200 time-honored recipes.
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No one knows or cooks fish better than chef Jasper White, who credits his Italian heritage for his approach to serving straightforward, wonderful fish in his restaurant, the Summer Shack. I love his almond-and-parmesan-encrusted flounder fillets. They fry up crispy and juicy. Chef Jasper finishes off the dish with a squirt of lemon juice and some tomato wedges on the side.
1 1/2 pound flounder fillets
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
2 whole eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 cups Almond and Parmesan Bread Crumbs
3 tablespoons Filippo Berio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, plus more if needed
4 tablespoons butter, plus more if needed
Line a large platter with paper towels and set aside.
Halve the flounder fillets lengthwise and check for bones. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat them well with the water.
Spread the flour and the bread crumb mixture in 2 separate shallow bowls.
Dredge the fillets in the flour and shake off the excess.
Dip them one at a time in the egg wash and coat them well. Then coat them well with the bread crumbs.
Put an empty 12-inch sauté pan over medium heat for 5 minutes.
Add the olive oil and butter so that it completely coats the pan and the mixture is hot. When the butter is bubbling and beginning to brown, add half the fillets to the hot oil mixture. Let them fry evenly for about 2 minutes. If they begin to brown before that, turn down the heat.
Serve with lemon and tomato wedges.
ALMOND AND PARMESAN BREAD CRUMBS
YIELD 1 1/2 CUPS
1/2 cup sliced almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, about 5 sprigs, minced
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Combine all the bread crumb ingredients well in a shallow bowl. Set aside.
Use half the amount when starting to coat the fish and add more as needed. Any leftover may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, in a covered container or zipper bag. Discard any crumbs that may be left in the dish after dipping the fish.
Panko are large, flaked Japanese bread crumbs found in your grocery store in the Oriental foods aisle or in the gourmet food aisle. They are perfect for coating fish and hold up well in frying, creating a nice crunchy texture.
Save time by preparing the bread crumb mixture several days ahead and refrigerate until ready to use.
This recipe is from CIAO ITALIA PRONTO by Mary Ann Esposito, published by St. Martin's Press in 2005.
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