Surprisingly enough, baklava is nearly as common as barbecue in and around Birmingham, Alabama, thanks to a wave of Greek immigrants who arrived in the early 1900s and brought the bright, sunny flavors of the Mediterranean with them. One of those immigrants, Tom Bonduris, opened the Bright Star restaurant in nearby Bessemer in 1907, and it’s still owned by members of his family today. This recipe is based on a Bright Star favorite: the freshest Gulf fish—snapper, cobia, triggerfish, or, here, flounder—sautéed in fruity olive oil and bathed in a simple sauce that’s loaded with lemony, herbal flavors.
Food & Drink
Great day gigging? Make a great dinner to match: fresh fish sautéed in olive oil, lemon, and oregano
photo: Margaret Houston | Food Styling: Phillip Rhodes
4 (6-oz.) flounder fillets
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup all-purpose flour
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 2 lemons
1 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
1/2 cup plus 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Lemon wedges for serving
Brush the flounder fillets with the melted butter and season lightly with salt and pepper. Spread the flour in a thin layer on a dinner plate and press both sides of the fillets in the flour, shaking off excess. Transfer to a wire rack and set aside.
Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in 1⁄2 cup of the oil to create an emulsified sauce.
Preheat a large, well-seasoned cast-iron skillet (or, to safely avoid sticking, a nonstick skillet) over medium heat and add the remaining 1 tsp. oil. Add the fish and cook for 3 minutes, then flip and cook on the second side for 2 minutes, or until cooked through. Transfer to a platter and spoon the sauce over the fish. Serve with lemon wedges.
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