Plaice (Flounder) on a Bed of Leeks and Bacon

Finkenwerder Scholle
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.
Course Entree
Cuisine Hamburg
Keyword Bacon, Breaded, Fish, Flounder, Fried, Leeks, Plaice
Region Hamburg

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.
Recipe courtesy of Nadia Hassani, Spoonfuls of Germany