Thai Coconut/Lime Flounder

Salad with leftover Thai flounder

salad with leftover chilled Thai flounder

A long-awaited-for marriage took place in my church in October.  A feast at my bountiful table was part of my wedding present to our venerated couple.

Our bride Dina was particularly interested in learning how to cook, with ease, for her new groom.  My bright idea was to begin my dinner gift in the kitchen with teaching her how to make the meal.  I prepared all the steps, just like you might see on a cooking show: the ingredients were set out in small individual dishes, along with the corresponding pans and utensils. All was in place for the lesson to flow naturally.

My priceless inheritance from my parents was a gene that “knows” food. Therefore I intuitively conceived this delicious dish, which was specifically geared for her husband’s dietary needs.  An exquisite, ultra simple recipe resulted.

Surprise and hesitancy occurred upon my friends’ arrival, as I informed Dina that she was going to make dinner, under my close direction.  She, being true to form, rolled up her sleeves with courage.  Her nervousness soon dissipated, for the facility of my simple instructions comforted her.  Joy unspeakable resulted: a chef was born!  I have observed, as an aside, that this woman approaches all of life’s challenges with this same spirit.

Are you timid about stepping into the unknown, either in or out of the kitchen? May you receive encouragement to advance in faith; start by trying my recipes. They look lengthy at times, but are effortless!  The cause for this seeming protractedness is my inclusion of practical details, which make food preparation easy and enjoyable.  You’ll sense that you are in  cooking school, when you use my receipts, as I teach at every point.  Rest assured-I will educate you for the joy of cooking.

My favorite way to serve my smooth flounder, with its slight bite, is over a good pasta.  (However I used rice for my newly weds.)  Either will bless the taste buds. Also, cold leftovers of this fish top off a salad superbly.

This feast pleased Dina, Dale, and me as well!

Thai coconut lime flounder dinner

Thai coconut lime flounder dinner

Thai Coconut/Lime Flounder  Yields: 4 servings.  Total prep time: 40 minutes.

Note: flounders close relate to and resemble soles; thus, you may substitute any sole here (also see Parmesan Dover Sole, 2017/02/13).

1 ½ tbsp coconut oil  (Other oils will do, but coconut is best for flavor and quality here.)

1 medium/large yellow onion, halved at the core, and thinly sliced

1 lime, juiced

7 oz Extra Thick Coconut Cream, or half of a 14 oz can (This is available at Trader Joe’s.)

¾ tsp dried, crushed red pepper (Save spice jars and refill yearly with cheap, up-to-date “bulk’ spices.)

¼ tsp salt

4 fillets of flounder, approximately 1 lb  (Wild-caught is best; may substitute sole, which is a close relative to flounder.)

Boiled pasta or steamed rice

  1. Start cooking rice, according to directions on package.  If using pasta, begin boiling water in a big pot; to which you add 2 tsp salt and 2 tbsp of oil-any kind of oil will do.
  2. Place 4 individual dinner plates in oven; set the temperature on warm.
  3. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.  Place a small piece of onion in oil; it is ready when onion sizzles.  Add the onions and stir well; carmelize, cook until dark brown.  (See Tomato/Feta Chicken, 2016/07/25, and Cooking with Kale, 2016/09/07, for more about sautéing and the 19th century history of this technique.)
  4. Meanwhile roll lime on counter; press down hard with your hand, until the meat of the fruit is broken down and softened.  Juice lime.  Set aside.
  5. Place whole can of coconut oil in a small storage container.  Stir thoroughly until milk and cream are completely blended.
  6. Add half of the coconut cream (7 oz), lime, red pepper, and salt to carmelized onions.  Stir well and slowly bring to a soft boil over medium heat.  If preparing for guests, you may choose at this point, to set aside coconut mixture and heat it 15 minutes before serving.  If you are waiting, be sure to have the plates warm, rice cooked, or water boiling ahead of time.  (Note: you can freeze leftover coconut cream, or use within a week.)
  7. Start cooking pasta in boiling water about 12-15 minutes before dinner time.  Boil until it is al dente, about 10 minutes. Watch, as not to over cook. Drain and place on heated dinner plates when done.
  8. Meanwhile add two fillets of flounder (more if using sole) to hot coconut cream mixture, which has been heated over medium temperature.  Poach briefly on each side, only until color in center is opaque.  Do not overcook. Remove to heated dinner plates-on which you have placed pasta or rice. Repeat this step with the remaining fillets. Cover with sauce.
  9. Serve it forth!
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