Whole Flounder Stuffed With Crabmeat
Bruning’s opened at West End Park in 1859, and remained popular and excellent, run by the same family, until it and everything else at West End were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Bruning’s great specialty was stuffed whole flounder. The restaurant may be gone (although maybe not forever), but the dish lives on. Use the biggest flounders you can find. (Fishermen refer to those as “doormats.”) I use claw crabmeat for the stuffing, because it has a more pronounced taste.
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 3 cups shrimp stock
- 1 lb. claw crabmeat (or crawfish in season)
- 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Pinch cayenne
- 4 large whole flounders
- 1 Tbs. salt-free Creole seasoning
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup clarified butter
- 1 lemon, sliced
- Chopped fresh parsley
1. Make the stuffing first. Melt the butter and stir in the flour to make a blond roux. Stir in the green onions and cook until limp. Whisk in the shrimp stock and Worcestershire and bring to a boil, then add the crabmeat, salt, and cayenne. Gently toss the crabmeat in the sauce to avoid breaking the lumps.
2. Wash the flounders and pat dry. Mix the Creole seasoning and salt into the flour and coat the outside of the flounders with it. Mix the eggs and milk together in a wide bowl and pass the fish through it, then dredge in the seasoned flour again.
3. Heat the clarified butter in a skillet and sauté the fish, one at a time, about four minutes on each side, turning once. Remove and keep warm.
4. Cut a slit from head to tail across the top of the flounder. Divide stuffing among the fish, spooning inside the slit and piling it on top. Place the flounders on a baking pan and put into a preheated 400-degree oven for six minutes.
5. Place the flounders on hot plates. Garnish with lemon slices and fresh chopped parsley.
Serves four to eight.