Nero Wolfe Flounder with Cheese Sauce

We went over to mumses and Mr. Paul’s for a rapture party weekend. This dish was made with angel hair pasta and we whipped up a batch of devil’s rain dressing to go with the greens.

Once more into the breach of Nero Wolfe recipes, this time we picked “Flounder with Cheese sauce” because it had noodles and we needed an Angel Hair pasta dish for our geekery. Don’t ask, just eat.


1/2 pound thin noodles
5 tablespoons butter
6 flounder fillets, totally 3 pounds
2 cups dry white wine
3 tablespoons chopped shallots
1 bay leaf
6 mushrooms
1/3 pound Fontina cheese
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Cook the noodles for 5 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain well, return to the pot, and stir in 2 tablespoons of the butter. When the noodles are thoroughly coated with butter, spread them in the bottom of a 2-quart casserole. Keep covered and warm.

Cut the flounder fillets in half lengthwise. Using your fingers, feel for and remove any hidden bones, and trim the edges. Put the fillets in a shallow baking dish. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan place the fish scraps, wine, shallots and bay leaf. Peel and stem the mushrooms; add scraps to the stock. Simmer for 10 minutes. Pour the strained broth over fillets and bake for 10 minutes. While fish is cooking, saute the mushrooms in the remaining butter. Carefully remove the fillets with a large slotted spatula, and arrange them on top of the buttered noodles.

Return the broth to a saucepan. It should make about 1 1/2 cups; add more wine or water if necessary. Chop the Fontina cheese, and add it to the broth. If the sauce seems too thick, add more wine; if too thin, add more cheese. Stir constantly so that the cheese melts evenly. When the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon, remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. Add the beaten egg yolk, and mix well. Pour the sauce over the fish. Garnish with the sauteed mushroom slices, sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese, and put under the broiler for a moment to brown.

Production Notes
1. Screw flounder. It’s damn-assed expensive and as I learned with the Moroccan dish, any mild white fish would do. So we got cod instead and it was tasty if a bit coddy. Next time we’ll get white fish proper.

2. You know what I like about this recipe? It has fish and fancy cheese which means ROAD TRIP TO WHOLE FOODS! I love the cheese counter and any excuse to go and pick up strange cheese is an excuse to come home with stranger cheese. Which I might have done. I also picked up the Fontina cheese too.

3. I did not realize my sis would be joining us for dinner so we did some jiggery recipe pokery so she could eat too. Sis hates fish. HAAAATE! And if I had known she was invited we could have totally done this with chicken instead of fish. But I did not and we did not. Consequently, the noodles were buttered and the mushrooms were prepped without any fish sauceing so sis could have food.

4. We thought this dish was going to be lethal thumpy but it wasn’t so much. Oh it was rich and creamy (and cheesey!) but no one felt the need to explode after dinner.

5. I kinda want to make this with chicken now, just to see how that goes. But if I have to, I’ll make it with fresh fish pulled from Superior one day up with the Qs. The sacrifices one makes for family.

2010: Sunday I got up at 8am (Oh, were you still sitting down? Sorry that, I forgot to mention that this entry will be full of rarities for the usual booniverse weekend posting).

2009: They were good mushrooms.

2008: JSFR: Meiji Chocolate and Potato

2007: I always make up extra mushrooms.

2006: I asked TheMan if he would lend me a hand in trying to extract the giant stupid root bundles with the come-along (renamed the “get the hell out of there” for this occasion) and it didn’t exactly work like the charm it was supposed to.

2005: All I have to say that I haven’t already is: People best not be getting it in to their heads to start calling Star Wars “A New Hope” or I’m going to start cracking heads.

2004: Cuz everyone always eats them from the pan.

2003: It’s true.

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