Finkenwerder, which gives this recipe its name, is an island in the Elbe River and is today incorporated into the city of Hamburg. Plaice is a type of flounder that is widely available in North America. While the very traditional version of Finkenwerder Scholle only uses bacon, some recipes add sautéed leeks, which gives it a nice crunchy touch, and more color, too.
- 3-4 thin slices lean center-cut bacon (2 ounces)
- 2 leeks thoroughly cleaned, trimmed, and finely chopped
- pinch ground nutmeg
- 1 plaice or flounder (about 2 to 3 pounds), de-scaled and gutted
- juice of 1 lemon
- salt and freshly milled black pepper
- vegetable oil for sautéing
- all-purpose flour for dredging
Recipe courtesy of Nadia Hassani, Spoonfuls of Germany
Cut the bacon into small strips and place them in a large cold skillet. Cook until crisp. Pour off some of the fat and set it aside. Add the leek to the bacon and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Do not overcook the leeks; they should still be al dente. Season with nutmeg and keep warm.
Rinse the fish under cold water and pat it dry with paper towels. Put on a large platter and drizzle with lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, but go easy on the salt, as the bacon already adds a good amount to the dish.
Heat the reserved bacon fat in a large skillet and add a couple of tablespoons vegetable oil.
Right before you are ready to sauté the fish, dredge the fish in flour. Cook the fish on both sides, starting with the light-colored side, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the fish is crisp and lightly browned. If the fish is flaky when you gently poke it with a toothpick, it’s done.
Arrange the bacon and the leeks in a serving dish and place the fish on top. Serve immediately.