Friday, March 6, 2015

Poached flounder with baby potatoes, cherry tomatoes & olives in saffron-tomato broth

This is one of the dishes that is extremely simple provided you have the ingredients on hand.

Please read the notes and follow the instructions carefully.


(serves 2)

2 fillets of flounder
8 baby potatoes
12 cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh peas
1/4 cup carrots (sliced into thin batons)
1/4 cup French beans (sliced into 1" length pieces)
1/4 cup black olives

2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup tomato purée

2 sprigs tarragon (chopped)

large pinch of saffron

parsley (finely chopped)

black pepper



  1. You absolutely need both chicken broth and the tomato purée. The umami is a big factor in this recipe. If you don't have chicken broth then you must either make a quick fish broth, or a Japanese-style dashi. This recipe will not work otherwise. The tomatoes and the broth function in tandem.
  2. Tarragon can be overpowering. Use in moderation. Substitute by fennel seeds.
  3. Saffron is non-negotiable.
  4. Obviously, you can use any combination of vegetables you have at hand but use neutral ones. Cauliflower is great as would be some beans. There is considerable leeway here.
  5. You can use any white fish. Cod is great too. Poaching time depends on the fillet thickness.

Bring the chicken broth and tomato purée to a gentle rolling boil. Add salt and black pepper. Add the baby potatoes and cook for 12 minutes. When this happens, foam will come to the surface. Skim it.

Add the cherry tomatoes, peas, beans and olives and continue to cook for 4 minutes.

With a slotted spoon, fish out all the vegetables and put them into two serving bowls which can hold liquid.

Bring the liquid to a boil again. Add the saffron and tarragon. Poach the fish in the liquid till it is cooked through - typically 3-4 minutes per fillet. (The CC had to poach them individually but if you have a large enough pan, you might be able to do both at once.)

Lift out the fish and place it gently on top of the vegetables.

Pour the broth over the fish and the vegetables. Sprinkling of parsley and if desired, more black pepper on top.

Serve with some crusty bread.

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