Cooking Class: Moist, Flavorful Broiled Fish
Long before "local" had any cachet, The Cull House, a Long Island bayside hideaway, procured mussels, clams, flounder, and weakfish steps away from its kitchen doors. It's been successful and semisecret for more than 30 years, and one of its main draws is the Broiled Platter, a mainstay of coastal clam shacks.
The broiled platter is a dish that easily translates to home cooking, as broiling is basically the gloriously effortless absence of technique. Because it's so simple, it puts the spotlight on the food; you can't hide your ingredient selections, so make sure to select the superfresh. You need fast-cooking food, a touch of fat, and a good bit of moisture. Your technique is this: Pay attention, and don't burn the food. You'll be rewarded with a fast, easy, delicious dinner.
Ingredients & Why:
1 tablespoon olive — The fish is mild. A little flavor from olive oil is welcome.
4 (6-ounce) flounder filets — It's dinner.
1/2 teaspoon paprika — Honestly, for the color it gives. And it's a nostalgia thing.
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots — Shallots provide the savory contrast to the white wine in the dish.
1 tablespoon melted butter — Because it's the universal flavor carrier for broiled fish.
2 cloves thinly sliced garlic — Same as for shallots. If you want more textural contrast between garlic and shallots, mince the garlic.
1/2 cup dry white wine — The moisture helps keep the fish, well, moist.
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt — Note that the salt is added at the end, to finish. Seasoning the fish ahead of time would start drawing out moisture.
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper — Add it with the salt. Grind fresh for best flavor.
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley — Adds a fresh touch.
4 lemon wedges — Wedges are the norm for adding a fresh burst to your own taste.