I’m continuing to pour over the Babbo cookbook I received as a gift this past summer. Some of the recipes are surprisingly simple, yet they always deliver flavorful results. This isn’t one of the surprisingly simple recipes. It’s quite a few steps, but they’re certainly not complicated.
This recipe originally called for skate wings, which I actually LOVE. But they’re tough to find here in Dallas, so I settled for flounder. It was a nice substitute to let the flavors of this dish really sing – especially the sweet clam citronette. Although I’ll confess, I don’t really like clams that much. I think it’s because I adore mussels, and clams always feel like a poor substitute. But if you like clams, keep them in there, because I think they would be a nice addition to the dish.
This is definitely a dinner party dish – it looks impressive, and fish is always a crowd pleaser when you’re not sure who eats what.
Sauteed Flounder and Rock Shrimp in a Saffron Sweet Clam Citronette (Babbo Cookbook)
4 Flounder filets (6-8 ounces each)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Wondra flour
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 shallots, finely chopped
1 bunch of arugula
1/2 pound rock shrimp or medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 pound New Zealand cockles, scrubbed
1 cup saffron cironette
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1. Season the flounder with salt and pepper and dredge both sides in Wondra. In a 14-16 inch saute pan, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over high heat until just smoking. Add the flounder and cook 4-5 minutes. Turn the fish, add half the shallots, and cook until the fish is golden brown and cooked through, 4-5 minutes more.
2. Once the fish has been cooked, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and the arugula. Season with salt and pepper and toss over high heat for 1 minute to wilt but not cook completely. Divide the arugula among 4 warmed bowls, and place one flounder filet atop each bed of arugula.
3. Meanwhile, in a separate pan with a cover, combine the rock shrimp, cockles, citronette, white wine, and remaining shallots. Cover, bring to a boil, and cook until the shrimp are cooked through and the cockles have opened, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the shellfish and broth evenly among the four bowls, pouring the broth over the flounder. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately.
makes 2-1/2 cups
1 cup champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon Spanish saffron threads
1/2 a medium red onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sugar
zest and juice of one lemon
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, saffron threads, and red onion and bring to a boil. Cook over high heat until reduced to one third of the original volume, remove from the heat, and stir in mustard, sugar, and lemon zest and juice. Place the mixture in the bowl of a food processor or blender and, with the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the mixture is emulsified. Strain and season with salt and pepper.