Alder-Planked Fluke With Bold Spice Rub

Alder-Planked Fluke With Bold Spice Rub

 

It’s been a constant struggle to find good-quality fresh fish around here. Every time I think I’ve found a good source, the quality there goes slowly downhill until I can’t bear to shop there anymore. There’s one place that’s reliable more often than not, but it’s pretty far from my house in a direction I don’t go very often. So I was thrilled recently to be in that neighborhood and able to stop by. Always willing to try new things, I asked the fishmonger what was particularly good that day. They suggested something that clearly was not fresh. You know how fish that’s been around a while gets that dull look? Yeah, that. I asked for another option; guess what? Another dull one. Clearly, when I said “good today,” they heard “what are we trying to get rid of?” Ugh. How disappointing.

So I gave up on getting a recommendation and relied on my own two eyes. The fluke was obviously fresh – firm and shiny. I’ve never bought fluke before, for utterly illogical reasons. It’s just the name, nothing more. I won’t spoil your appetite with the details, let’s just say it’s nothing about the actual fish. Time to go with logic, and buy the darn fluke! So I did. Good choice, too. When I opened it up at home, there was no fishy smell — just the sweet smell of the sea.

Fluke is often referred to as “summer flounder” because that’s when they like to hang out close to shore. It’s a member of the flounder family, which is an interesting group of flatfish. They’ve evolved to have both eyes on one side, allowing them to lie on the ocean floor and still look around. Goofy looking, but cool. And tasty!

I still have a lot of pre-soaked, frozen grilling planks from last fall. I soaked and froze them to make it easier on myself for grilling during my kitchen and hip renovations. I froze way more than I needed, and the leftovers are drying out in the freezer. Flounder cooks quickly, so I figured it wouldn’t matter if the plank wasn’t quite as well soaked. Last time I plank-grilled white fish, my chief taster found it a bit bland (salmon can spoil a person with its full flavor.)  I set about this time to prove him wrong. Successfully, as it turned out. The fish was tender, flakey, and nicely smoked — although we did have to be vigilant about bones — and the rub and finishing salt added even more flavor.

What’s your favorite fish? Do you have any foods you avoid for irrational reasons? Let me know in the comments below!

Nutrition note: If you’re looking to limit sodium intake, just eliminate the salt from your batch of Bold Spice Rub.

Ingredients

0 apf

1 pound (454 g) fluke (summer flounder) filet

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 batch Bold Spice Rub

finishing salt to taste

1 alder grilling plank, large enough for the whole piece of fish

spray bottle of water to have handy in case of flare-ups

tray or cookie sheet for transporting the planked fish (Use a clean one to bring in the cooked fish.)

spatula big enough to remove the plank from the grill

Preparation

1.) Soak the plank in water for half an hour prior to grilling. Weigh it down with something heavy to keep it submerged. I usually use a honey jar because it’s always handy. Toward the end of the soaking time, preheat the grill on high.

plank weighed down with honey jar

2.) Remove the plank from the water and shake off any excess. Place the fish on the soaked plank. Spray or brush the surface of the fish with the oil. Rub the spice mixture on the fish, using the whole batch.

2 apf

3.) Place the plank on the grill and close the lid. You should see smoke curling up from the grill within a couple of minutes. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of your filet. Mine took seven minutes. Fish is done when it becomes opaque, flakes easily, and/or its internal temperate registers 145º F (62.8º C). Dust to taste with finishing salt and serve.

3a apf

3b apf

 

apfdsrNutritionLabel

Alder-Planked Fluke With Bold Spice Rub

Ingredients

1 pound (454 g) fluke (summer flounder) filet

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 batch Bold Spice Rub

finishing salt to taste

1 alder grilling plank, large enough for the whole piece of fish

spray bottle of water to have handy in case of flare-ups

tray or cookie sheet for transporting the planked fish

spatula big enough to remove the plank from the grill

Directions

1.) Soak the plank in water for half an hour prior to grilling. Weigh it down with something heavy to keep it submerged. I usually use a honey jar because it’s always handy. Toward the end of the soaking time, preheat the grill on high.

2.) Remove the plank from the water and shake off any excess. Place the fish on the soaked plank. Spray or brush the surface of the fish with the oil. Rub the spice mixture on the fish, using the whole batch.

3.) Place the plank on the grill and close the lid. You should see smoke curling up from the grill within a couple of minutes. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of your filet. Mine took seven minutes. Fish is done when it becomes opaque, flakes easily, and/or its internal temperate registers 145º F (62.8º C). Dust to taste with finishing salt and serve.

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Looks fantastic, I think will try this weekend have you used the rub on other fish ..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. julie says:

      I haven’t yet, but I think it would go quite well on most any fish. I don’t think I’d use it on salmon, but that’s just because I love salmon so much on its own that I don’t like to crowd its flavor with anything more than a little garlic & dill. But I’d certainly use it on cod, halibut, snapper, grouper, etc. I’d love to know what you try it with, and how you like it!

      Like

  2. Ferret Chef says:

    great recipe 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ferret Chef says:

        my pleasure 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. mistimaan says:

    Looks tasty

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That sounds wonderful! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. julie says:

      Thanks! It was really yummy, & so easy, too. I hope you get a chance to try it. Let me know how you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

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