To me, flounder is flat-out the most delectable of all the Gulf finfish. And for my money, a classic Cajun recipe for stuffed whole flounder with wild-caught, Gulf shrimp is the ultimate dish for someone as seafood-obsessed as me. Whenever I see it on a restaurant menu, I can’t resist. And I couldn’t resist the fresh-caught flounders and the Louisiana shrimp I recently discovered iced down at Granger’s Seafood in Maurice, Louisiana.
Buying seafood right off the boats in South Louisiana is one of the pleasures of living in Cajun Country. But knowing when and where the fresh catch is coming into port had always been hit-and-miss until Louisiana Direct Seafood came along. The free program of Louisiana Sea Grant and LSU Ag Center is my little secret of how to source the freshest seafood available. With web technology, a connection with fishermen across the Louisiana coast can be conveniently accessed from your cell phone or your home computer.
Take a look at our 2-minute video explaining the convenience of Louisiana Direct Seafood:
A couple of clicks and you can find real-time vendor sourcing for fish, shrimp, crabs, crawfish, oysters, and other seafood varieties. Then with a quick phone call, you get a price and a pick-up location. The website is divided into four regional ports along the Louisiana coastline with fishing vendors located close to anyone who lives in the southern part of the state. When possible, I always shop via the vendors on Louisiana Direct Seafood because buying direct ensures quality and provides maximum profitability to the hard-working fishing families. Plus, it’s nice to know who caught your fish and begin a connection that can lead to more delicious recipes.
And that’s not all: For retail and restaurant buyers, there’s a Wholesale Seafood page on the Louisiana Direct Seafood website that lists processors and fishermen that sell to the wholesale market.
It’s easy. With one click, buyers can connect with Louisiana seafood sources along the coast and find out about product availability, minimum quantities, and price.
And for me, my connection was with Ms. Cheryl Granger owner of Granger’s Seafood. With my ice chest in the back of my truck, I took a short Saturday morning drive to visit with Ms. Cheryl and pick up my freshly caught flounder and a few pounds of shrimp. Along with her husband Captain Al Granger, the family fishes the waters of Vermilion Bay from their 55′ shrimp boat the Miss Brittany G based out of Intracoastal City, Louisiana. Connecting with them on Louisiana Direct Seafood led me straight to their seafood sales operation based at their home, about 15 minutes from Lafayette. Located at 9545 Placide Rd in Maurice Louisiana, I simply gave Ms. Cheryl a call at 337-898-2368 and scheduled a convenient time to pick up my fresh catch.
Flounder is a much sought-after fish in Cajun cooking, and the delicate white flesh has a subtle sweetness that makes it perfect for stuffing. During shrimping season, flounder are a bycatch of the shrimp fishery, which makes them available, and when cooler Fall weather moves in, you’ll find them everywhere. Every now and then I see the 5-pound “doormat” flounder that makes a dramatic statement on the dinner table, but my 2-pound flounders are the perfect individual stuffing size for my Stuffed Whole Flounder recipe. Cleaned and scaled, the flounder only needs to be cut down the backbone and the flesh peeled back to form a pocket for my spicy shrimp and breadcrumb mixture.
Time to stuff.
- 2 (2-pound) whole flounders, cleaned with a large pocket cut in the center
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- ½ cup diced green bell pepper
- ½ cup diced red bell pepper
- ½ cup diced celery
- ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons dry vermouth or dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Dash of hot sauce
- Acadiana Table Cajun Seasoning Blend, see recipe here
- 2 pounds (16-20-count) raw Louisiana shrimp, shells removed
- 1 cup fresh unseasoned bread crumbs
- 1 whole lemon, sliced thin
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Place the flounders on parchment-lined trays. Rub the skin with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper in the inside of each pocket.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery. Sauté until the onion turns translucent and then add the parsley, rosemary, garlic, and ginger. Continue cooking to combine the herbs and add lemon juice and vermouth. Season the mixture with smoked paprika, hot sauce, and a light sprinkle of Cajun seasoning. Remove from the heat.
- Place the shrimp on a cutting board. Reserve a few of the whole shrimp to garnish the top of the stuffing on each flounder. Chop the rest of the shrimp in smaller bite-size pieces. Add the chopped shrimp to the mixture stirring to combine. Add only enough breadcrumbs a little at a time to reach the desired consistency of a moist stuffing. Set aside to cool.
- To assemble the dish, spoon the stuffing mixture into the pocket of each flounder. Place a few of the shrimp on top of the stuffing. Season the fish with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a light sprinkle of paprika. Add lemon slices to the top of the fish. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes or until the thickest part of the fish easily flakes at the touch of a fork.
- For serving, use two spatulas to gently move each flounder to a platter being careful not to break off the tail section. Serve with crusty French bread.
This Boat-To-Table series of stories, recipes, and information about our seafood industry is brought to you in support of Louisiana Direct Seafood, a free program of Louisiana Sea Grant and LSU Ag Center.
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Can’t beat stuffed flounder! A true Cajun delicacy!
Laura Polivka says
Thank you, thank you for publishing this stuffed flounder recipe! My husband & I have made this several times. It is a wonderful meal! Hubby is going on a flounder fishing trip here in Texas over the holidays. We are ready to make this again. It is restaurant quality!
Laura Gray says
My mouth is watering as I read this story! I live in land-locked Colorado. How can I get some of that flounder and shrimp sent to me for a dinner for two people?
George Graham says
Laura- You are in luck: Louisiana Direct Seafood will ship vacuum-packed frozen Louisiana seafood directly to you. All the best.
VIVIAN GREEN-STROUD says
I love fresh whole stuffed flounder! It is frustrating when these restaurants try and sell you a stuffed fish that is not flounder but they say it is. That is why I prefer whole. I have tried this recipe and it was fantastic!
King Brett says
I’ve been a fan of stuffed whole flounder as a kid growing up in Lafayette. Just caught a 20-inch specimen and figure I’ll need the two pounds of shrimp to stuff this beast. Your recipe looks fabulous and is exactly what I was hoping to find. The ginger and rosemary are intriguing for sure! I’ll let you know what our friends say. Thanks
George Graham says
King- A 20-inch flounder is “doormat” size for sure. Enjoy the feast!