So there I was with two small chunks of sautéed swordfish and half a stuffed filet of flounder. Last night, after considering stuffed tomatoes or timbales, I decided to go with stuffed crêpes. Sounds complicated, but really the only bit of “work” involved would be the crêpe part. And even that has its multiple rewards.
First, the Crêpes
Use any garden variety recipe (no sugar, of course), but start it several hours ahead and let the batter sit in the fridge for at least an hour or even overnight. I made mine in the blender. The standard recipe usually produces about 12 to 14 six-inch crêpes. Put them aside; what you don’t use will make a wonderful breakfast or dessert.
Then the Flounder Filling
In a shallow bowl, I mashed together with a fork the leftover fish pieces with their juices and stuffing, added enough plain yogurt to produce a nice, moist mixture, and sprinkled in a large pinch of dried tarragon. There was ample filling for spreading onto four crêpes; it could have gone to five or even six. I rolled them up and placed them seam side down in a greased baking dish.
Next, the Tomato and New England Clam Chowder Sauce
Luckily I had some leftover tomato sauce (a simple mix of canned tomato sauce and heavy cream, jazzed up with a little onion and garlic powder), which I stretched by adding the little bit of New England clam chowder left over from lunch (I could also have added a dash of white wine), and a small fresh tomato chopped fine. This I poured over the stuffed crêpes and topped with a good grating of Romano cheese.
After 30 to 40 minutes in a 350˚F oven — the dish came out bubbling and lightly browned. It didn’t need a starch side dish, as there are enough carbs in the crêpes and the breadcrumbs of the recycled filling. A plain green vegetable, like spinach, string beans, peas, or broccoli (green makes a nice contrast), or a mixed salad would be a perfect accompaniment. Keep the side dish simple so as not to detract from the delicate fish and crêpe flavor.
I have described the procedure for making stuffed crêpes with leftover fish in my new book, The Refrigerator Files: A Guide to Creative Makeovers for Your Leftovers. You can check it out on iUniverse (LINK: http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000141829/The-Refrigerator-Files.aspx, Amazon (LINK http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=The+Refrigerator+Files ), or Barnes and Noble (LINK: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-refrigerator-files-jocelyn-deprez/1107099415?ean=9781450270298 ). As you see, I use my own book a lot!
Have fun playing around with new ideas in the kitchen, and please send me your comments, questions, and ideas. What is your biggest nuisance leftover? In a future post, I’ll tell about another easy way to use up extra fish or seafood.