Sunday, February 20, 2011
What’s cooking? Fennel Flounder
My computer beeps at me for the usual variety of reasons – hello or goodbye, mail arriving, browser stops working, a program won’t load – that’s not news to anyone. But our house is only two years old, so most of the appliances operate with some sort of system that I’m sure the manufacturers believe is helpful. Some days, however, I go almost crazy trying to figure out which one of them is calling to me and why.
– The washer beeps when the load is out of balance, like if I don’t put enough other stuff in when I wash the bathroom rug.
– Ditto the dryer. And both of them sing a little song when their cycle is over. You can hear it almost anywhere in the house.
– The microwave beeps when it’s done, and again every 10 seconds after that if I haven’t removed whatever I was heating.
– The coffeemaker beeps twice when it has finished brewing, and again 20 minutes later to tell me it’s turning itself off.
– The oven beeps when it reaches the right temperature.
– The refrigerator beeps when the door is left open.
– The land line phone beeps when we have a message. Or when it needs recharging.
– And my cell phone beeps when I get a voice mail or a text message, or when the battery is fading. i could probably change some of that, but am a bit technologically challenged.
– Ditto my husband’s phone. Or maybe it’s the alarm on his watch, which beeps in a tonal range that he doesn’t hear, so that I have to let him know when it goes off. And then again 10 minutes later when it wants to tell him he forgot to turn it off the first time.
And if that wasn’t enough, in my car yesterday, I almost had a wreck as competition ramped up between the Garmin lady and the car phone lady.
Back when I was shopping for many of these appliances, I watched a cooking demo at the Wolf/Sub-Zero showroom, and they prepared an amazing flounder casserole with fennel. I love fennel, so I took the general idea and produced this dish which is terrifically easy, and the flavors of fish, fennel, and tomatoes blend really well together. I serve it with rice and a salad or some deep green veggie like steamed broccoli.
Lee’s Fennel Flounder
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 large carrots, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1½ pounds flounder filet
1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced
tomatoes – about 2 cups, chopped [Kitchen Goddess note: Fresh tomatoes are best, but at this time of year, tomatoes that taste like tomatoes and not rubber balls aren’t easy to find. Try a couple of cans of diced tomatoes, drained..]
Heat oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat and add carrots, onion, and celery, stirring frequently for 7-8 minutes. Spread mirepoix on bottom of a casserole dish. Arrange half the fish in one layer on top of the mirepoix, and sprinkle with half the fennel. Arrange the rest of the fish in the next layer and top with remaining fennel. Spread tomatoes evenly on top. Season with garlic salt and lemon pepper. Bake, covered, at 400º for 30-35 mins, then remove cover and broil until the tomatoes get slightly toasted. Serves 4.