Stuffed Fish: Crab and Flounder Rolls
I really like stuffed fish. My favorite fish to eat are flounder and grouper, and they’re also my favorites to use for baked fish. Sometimes I make baked flounder without the stuffing, but it's not nearly as tasty. Most any type of fish can be stuffed, but I’ve found that mild-tasting lean fishes are best for these types of fish recipes. Most stuffing recipes contain crabmeat or shrimp, and if you use a stronger tasting fish with the recipe, it will often overpower the delicate taste of the stuffing. Many cooks prefer using fish fillets for stuffing, but whole fish are also good for this method, and they make a very visually appealing dish. Below you’ll find one of my favorite recipes for stuffed fish.
One of the main keys to success with this recipe is to use fresh flounder and fresh crabmeat. I sometimes use frozen flounder for this recipe, but the results aren’t nearly as good. We enjoy flounder fishing, and the taste of a right-out-of-the-ocean flounder is beyond compare!And, by the way, if you're craving baked fish with crabmeat stuffing but don't have any crab, try substituting cokked, shredded chicken! Believe it or not, it's surprisingly delicious. I've used canned white meat chicken for this purpose, and the dish turned out great.
If you're going with crab, use the crabmeat that’s refrigerated and ultra-pasteurized instead of the flat cans of crabmeat you find on the shelves. That type of crabmeat has very little flavor. The refrigerated canned crabmeat is far superior. Of course, if you have any leftover crab legs, you can use that, too. Before adding the crab to your stuffing mix, pick through it to remove any bits of shell and cartilage.
Crab Stuffed Flounder
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- 1 1/2 pounds flounder fillets
- 1/2 pound flaked crabmeat
- 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped bell pepper
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon dry sherry
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- 8 saltines, crushed
- 1 egg
- black pepper
- grated parmesan
- Rinse the fish fillets under cool running water and pat dry.
- Combine onions, bell pepper, and garlic with one tablespoon butter and microwave until veggies are tender.
- Combine with crabmeat and remaining ingredients.
- Place fillets on a flat surface and brush with melted butter. Divide crabmeat stuffing evenly in the center of each fillet.
- Roll the fillets up and secure with a toothpick. Place rolls in a buttered baking dish, with the seam down.
- Drizzle stuffed fish with melted butter and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese.
- Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes.
Stuffed Fish - Variations
You can tweak this recipe for stuffed fish to suit your own tastes. To the stuffing, you might want to add red pepper, diced chili peppers, asparagus, spinach, shrimp, celery, pimento, or parsley. You might also want to “jazz up” the stuffed fish by topping the rolled fillets with bread crumbs, nuts, or a wine sauce. Fresh herbs are also tasty with just about any type of baked fish. Try basil, parsley, or dill. Be careful with dill weed, however. If you use too much, it will overpower the other flavors.
There are all kinds of variations to stuffed fish recipes. I often use whatever I have on hand at the time so that I won’t have to make a trip to the grocery store. A big part of cooking, in my opinion, is being able to make good use of what’s in your pantry and refrigerator. You can use practically anything for the stuffing – stale bread, boxed stuffing mixes, leftover biscuits or cornbread, cracker crumbs, or dry bread crumbs. You might even want to “go Mediterranean” and use black olives and diced tomatoes. If you decide to make baked fish, get creative! Watch the cooking videos above to get some good ideas for stuffed fish.
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