Almond Flounder Meuniere Birthday Surprise!

When I started Sweetbites I wanted to join a baking club in order to entice me to baking more.  I stumble upon Tuesday with Dorie, a huge group of bakers that were baking their way thru Dorie’s Greenspan book: “Baking: From my Home to Yours”.  By the time I found them, the group was closed and was not accepting new bakers.  I was totally bumped out, but I decided to send an email to Laurie, the group founder and moderator, to let me know when there were opening in the near future and that I was super interested in joining the pack.

A month went .. then two, then three and then, I got an email saying that a couple of spots opened up and that I was in if I was still interested!

I was in faster than you can raise your hand.

It has been amazing to bake along side the group for the last nine months.  I have made friends and found so many great blogs that inspired me with their words, photography and the level of cooking creativity.  I look forward to every Tuesday with anticipation, knowing that for a couple of hours I get lost in the sea of storytelling and eye candy photography.

Not to mention that I have conquer so many baking fears that been with me across the years - yes, pie crust I’m looking at you!

Then, Laurie send out an announcement that a new group was going to open up in order to do the same thing, cook our way through the new book that Dorie was publishing and she was checking out who would be interested.

I was in faster than you can raise your hand.

After months of waiting and anticipation French Fridays with Dorie was launched and a whole new crop of home cooks band together every Friday to share our experiences while enjoying Dories’ new book “Around my French Table”.

I have to tell you, that we are in our forth recipe in and so far everything that I have done has been a sure winner… which means that Mrs. Greenspan track record in my kitchen has not failed me yet.

The best part of this group is the fact that Dorie, herself is vested in it.  She checks out our blogs, and makes comments and keeps tabs on what is going on - So basically, while I have not meet her in person, yet (someday) virtually it’s like a friend that I have in my kitchen every Tuesday and Friday, encouraging and sending little tips and tricks - that is how her books make you feel, that you have her right there in your kitchen, cooking along side you.

And when you have those types of virtual friends, you do things for them… great things. 

So when Laurie posted a message in FFwD calling for volunteers for a super secret project, guess who was first in line?

After weeks of emails, and planning and sword secrecy, here we are today announcing our guarded mystery.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DORIE!  Here is a Birthday Menu from our homes to yours…

Myself, along with twenty other bloggers will be posting each of our creations in order to celebrate her!  Each recipe is coming from her book and each is done with lots of good wishes and lots of dedication.

My contribution to this party is the fish course, and I choose the Almond Flounder Meunière.

According to Dorie, this recipe is a crossbreed between the classic amandine, which means to finish a dish with almonds and a meunière, which refers to both a sauce and a method of preparation. The word itself means “female miller”. Thus to cook something à la meunière was to cook it by first dredging it in flour and then preparing a simple sauce with brown butter, chopped parsley, and lemon.

I love almonds and brown butter is the best thing EVER.  If you have not had something cooked in brown butter, you need to move it and get to it - PRONTO.  Trust me, adding that touch of nutty flavor butter to anything is divine.  To add it to fish? Its going to be a sure hit and your family is going to name you Top Chef.  Of course with out the magazine endorsement and $100,000, but we can dream.


The dish came together pretty fast.  I used flounder, but I’m sure that you can use other types of flatfish like Sole, Halibut or Turbot.  The next time I’m trying doing this with Halibut, since I love the fine, meaty texture which I think will play off the almonds and brown butter great.

I had this ready in less than 10 minutes.  Since I know that flounder is a bit of a sweet fish, I salted my fillets generously first and let them sit for a bit, then I coated one side with the beaten egg and press it to the almond, flour, lemon mixture.  Then, youmelt the butter in a skillet until it goes from white to brown and place the fillets on top and sauté until the nut mixture turns golden brown.  Carefully turn the over and cook another 2-3 minutes until the fish is firm and the opaque color is gone.

After my fillets were done, I melted a bit more of butter and added some salt and lemon to it, and pour this sauce over the fish and served it.

It was delicious.  Delicate and at the same time full of nutty flavor, with that touch of freshness from the lemon juice. It was a sure winner tonight during our dinner party… 

in this case a Birthday Dinner Party!  

So lets raise our glasses and toast Dorie on this special day…

May your blessings be many, may your sorrows be few, may today be the day you dreamed of yesterday and may it be much more! - Happy Birthday

The mastermind behind this progressive birthday party idea is Holly from Phe.MOM.enon and she, along with Laurie has been planning this for over a month, thank you for allowing me to be part of it.  A drink to you both!