Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Cafe Atlantic's Baked Parmesan Flounder and Kate's Corn and Quinoa Salad

Impressive. Easy. Delicious. Even Michael liked it! Micheal doesn't eat fish on regular occasions, which is frustrating when we live so close to coastal seafood restaurants that serve local fresh fish!

But last night... Michael enjoyed fresh flounder. I would go as far to say that he savored this dish! He ate the entire piece of fish, as well as all of the corn and quinoa salad! This must be good.

This seafood recipe is a popular dish served at Ocracoke Island's Cafe Atlantic. It is buttery, sweet, cheesy, and truly melts in your mouth. This is delicious and deceptively easy to make. Company would never guess it only took you 10 minutes to prepare. And honestly, if a recipe calls for butter, parmesan cheese, and real mayonnaise, how could it possibly be bad? ;-)

I prefer flounder, because it's a light tasting, flaky fish... but the restaurant often makes this dish with puppy drum, bluefish, or spanish mackerel. I'm sure any of these varieties would taste wonderful with the baked parm topping!

Don't let the word "baked" fool you. If you're looking for a low-cal, low-fat dish... this isn't it! But keep reading. Trust me... it's definitely worth every bite of this cheesy goodness on occasion!!

Cafe' Atlantic's Baked Parmesan Flounder

  • 4 flounder fish filets
  • 2 cups freshly shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup green onions, sliced and minced
  • 4 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. hot sauce
  • 1-2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning

Mix all ingredients (EXCEPT the Old Bay seasoning) in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Place fish filets in a baking dish and spread cheese mixture over fish before baking. Sprinkle Old Bay seasoning on top of cheese mixture. Bake in a 425 degree oven until fish is cooked through. Time will depend on thickness of the filet, but will take about 12 minutes for filets 3/4" thick.

I served this with Kate's Quinoa and Corn Salad. I cut Kate's recipe in half, and it still made PLENTY for the two of us! I wasn't sure how Michael would like quinoa (pronounced - "Keen-wah"), but he said it was very tasty. Michael likened it to the texture of couscous, one of our old favorite wheat pasta dishes. I agree.

Unlike couscous though, quinoa definitely has a unique nutty, earthy flavor of it's own; yet it also takes on the flavors of ingredients it's mixed with. This salad, which was flavored with freshly grated lemon rind and fresh lemon juice, was delicious with the fish.

Uncooked Quinoa

Quinoa also is made in flakes for a hot cereal, which for those of us who need to be gluten-free, can eat in place of oatmeal. Quinoa cooks quickly, is a whole grain product, and it's really good for you! You feel better knowing that already don't you? ;-)

Check back tomorrow for my best baked goodie yet! Orange Cinnamon Muffins!
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