Stuffed Flounder with Eggplant
Most stuffed fish are filled with the standard crabmeat-and-bread stuffing. This one is something else. The stuffing is so light as to be cloudlike, and when roasted in the oven takes on a thin, delectable crust. The eggplant takes on a part-time gig with the Creole trinity of vegetable.
- 1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into half-inch dice
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped coarsely
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 onions, chopped
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 cup shrimp stock
- 1 sprig fresh thyme leaves
- 4 leaves fresh basil, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 lb. white crabmeat
- 2 sticks butter
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 3/4 cups milk, heated
- 4 flounder (or trout or snapper) fillets, about 8 oz. each
- Black pepper
- Bread crumbs
1. Sprinkle the eggplant with a lot of salt and allow to drain inside a colander in the sink for fifteen minutes. Rinse the salt off and drain.
2. Combine the eggplant, red bell pepper, celery, wine, stock, thyme, basil, and oregano in a skillet. Cook over medium high heat until the vegetables begin to soften, then remove from the heat. Add the crabmeat and mix lightly.
3. In a separate saucepan, heat the butter with the flour and stir to make a light roux. Add the hot milk and whisk to make a fluffy béchamel sauce.
4. Fold the eggplant-and-crabmeat mixture into the béchamel. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Cut a wide slit in the top of the fish fillets and top them with the stuffing. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and bread crumbs lightly over the top. Place the fillets in a pan, douse with a little white wine, and bake in the 400-degree oven for 8-10 minutes.