You'll love my panko breaded flounder, quick fried in coconut oil, so fried flounder just got healthier and pasta with broccoli rabe is a perfect side dish.
Whats for dinner tonight? How about my Panko Breaded Flounder?
I truly am spoiled living on the east coast, where so much great fresh seafood is available. And really lucky to have a Wegman’s to shop at with a great selection of reliable fresh seafood, much of which is sourced locally. So when I saw fresh flounder on display being hand filleted per order, I knew that would be the perfect choice for dinner.
While Lisa likes flounder simply broiled, or stuffed, my favorite way to eat flounder is fried. Crispy crunchy and fried till golden brown…..sigh.
The problem with frying these days is all the media attention and how bad everyone says it is for you…..it kind of takes all the fun out of eating fried foods! But I have found a solution to that problem! I’ve been using coconut oil for skillet frying, and its been working out really well! Okay, I know it’s still fried, but it certainly is a much healthier version of fried and remember with me it’s baby steps…
Growing up, my father used cracker meal for breading seafood, and I always enjoyed that type of light breading. But for the flounder, I was looking for something with a little more body and crunch to it. Regular bread crumbs just didn’t seem like a good option for me, and then I remembered the box of panko bread crumbs in the pantry! That was the perfect choice, it actually kept the flounder lighter, not absorbing as much of the cooking oil and added the wonderful crispy crunch that I was looking for!
For a side dish, I wanted a contrast to the light and flaky flounder and something with a stronger flavor. A more pronounced flavor would work to make the fish seem even more delicate and mild. Pasta is always my go-to side dish, and by adding in the bitter element of broccoli rabe, it did two things for my entree.
It added in the contrast of flavors I was looking for and helped mask any objectionable coconut flavor that may have lingered on the palate. I actually like the taste of Kelapo, but when you’re cooking for someone that doesn’t like coconut, you have to be creative or sneaky! Can I tell you Lisa had no idea I used coconut oil and even took the leftovers to school for her lunch the next day? That’s always a good sign. When Lisa packs up the leftovers for lunch, then she really enjoyed dinner and wasn’t just humoring me.
I think you do get used to flavors, and the more you use them preparing foods you love, the easier it becomes. I remember my first experience with olive oil when I was a teenager….I hated it! Then one day I dipped bread into a plate of seasoned olive oil and became an instant convert. I think over time Lisa will get used to the flavor and won’t even notice when I use it. It’s all about balancing flavors.
If you love seafood you might also like my Pan Seared Halibut.
If you’ve tried my Panko Breaded Flounder recipe or any other recipe on askchefdennis.com please don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know where you found it in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on Instagram @chefdenniseats and @chefdennistravels, Twitter and Facebook.
Panko Breaded Flounder and Pasta with Broccoli Rabe
Pasta with Broccoli Rabe
- 1 head broccoli rabe washed and chopped
- 8 oz penne or pasta shape of your choice or pasta shape of your choice
- 12 grape tomatoes cut half
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 oz gorgonzola cheese crumbles or grated romano cheese
- 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
- pinch crushed red pepper
- sea salt to taste
- 12 ounces fresh flounder fluke or tilapia can be substituted
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 4 ounces Coconut Oil
Pasta with Broccoli Rabe
- Wash and chop broccoli rabe and place in a small pan with just enough water to cover, place on medium heat until boiling then reduce to simmer.
- Cook broccoli rabe for about 20 minutes or until tender. (reserve the liquid that is left over after cooking)
- Cook pasta al dente, per instructions on box.
- Add chopped garlic to a saute pan with two tablespoons of Kelapo over medium heat.
- once garlic starts to saute, add in broccoli rabe, season with sea salt and add in a pinch of crushed red pepper.
- Turn down heat and continue turning broccoli rabe in the pan, saute for about 5 minutes then set aside until flounder is completed.
- Set up your breading station with panko bread crumbs in one bowl, another bowl with the egg lightly beaten with the added water.
- Dredge flounder in egg wash coating the entire fillet, then place in bread crumbs evenly coating both sides.
- Continue till all the fillets are coated.
- In a large frying pan add in about 4 ounces (120 g) of Kelapo with heat on medium high.
- When the oil is hot begin placing breaded flounder into the pan, gently. Do not touch the fish until you are ready to turn it over, about 2 minutes on each side.
- Continue until all the fillets have been fried.
- Place fillets on a large pan and place in a 350 degree (177 C) oven for 10 minutes while you finish making the pasta.
- While the flounder is finishing cooking, return the pan of broccoli rabe to the stove over medium to low heat.
- Add in the pasta, and mix together well. Add in reserved liquid as necessary ( the pasta should not be dry).
- Add in grape tomato halves and continue heating the pasta for about 5 minutes, reducing heat as needed.
- Serve with flounder and enjoy!