I'll never forget the good 'ole days of family fishing outings in "Spirit the Boat" here in Jersey. Dad loved to fish, like my cousin Bob. I especially remember fishing for flounder. One time we were reeling in flounder so fast, Dad could not keep up with baiting our hooks! Locally caught flounder was often seen on menus back then.
Now, decades later, commercial fishing and polluted waters has lead to Seafood Watch (a program that helps consumers make healthy, sustainable choices) recommending that we do not buy or eat Flounder from the US East Coast. If Dad were still alive, he may have been shocked to learn that our wild-caught Flounder for dinner tonight came all the way from Iceland.
Flounder is a flat fish similar to sole and fluke. Seafood Watch recommends getting Flounder from Alaska, the U.S. West Coast or British Columbia for the best choices. They don't recommend buying Flounder caught anywhere on the US East Coast unless it is from a "Good Alternative" source. The Seafood Watch uses science-based criteria before making their recommendations to the public.
Compared to other fish, the market price of flounder is among the highest. Even so, the protein in our meal only cost us $4.99 per person. Our veggie and grain side dishes added minimal cost. You can feed a family of three with less than one pound of flounder. We purchased ours at Wegman's supermarket for $14.99 lb. ShopRite was selling it for about the same price, $15.99 lb.
Even cooking one of the most expensive fish, a home cooked meal still costs less and far outweighs the nutrition of a fast-food meal. For example, Filet-O-Fish at McDonald's, has 560 mg of sodium, 38 g total carbohydrates (from the bun), 390 calories and 4 g of saturated fat, and that is just for the fish sandwich without adding in the added salt, fat and carbs coming from fries and soda. The Filet-O-Fish meal costs about $5.79.
The American Heart Association recommends eating fish a couple times per week for good health. This is one of my "freestyle recipes", meaning that you can use a slightly different amount of the ingredients as desired and you won't ruin it.
3 Fillets of Flounder
Olive oil (to coat bottom of baking dish)
1 Tablespoon butter
lemon juice (fresh squeezed, about 1 Tablespoon)
capers (as desired)
pinch dried thyme (or other herb(s) of choice)
pinch salt and fresh ground black pepper
preheat oven to 350 degrees
Putting it all together
Add olive oil and butter to baking dish. Melt butter - we put the baking dish briefly in the microwave to melt the butter. Add fish and toss to coat in the oil blend. Season and add capers as desired. Cover and bake in preheated oven until fish is fully cooked and no longer translucent - about 25 minutes.
To complete your meal, serve with a portion controlled grain and a generous side of a vegetable. We served our flounder dinner with leftover quinoa and a side of asparagus.
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