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The Sailaway Gourmet

Summer is passing too quickly. And the weather has been crazy from the start, but I’m sure everyone is enjoying all the activities there are to do during the season.

One of the favorites among my boaters in Mt. Sinai is fishing. There are the causal guys who fish for fun and the more serious who are out there at any time of day or night, rain or shine. And funny, for as many years as I have been working on the water, I know little to nothing about fishing.
So, after searching I found that Fluke are common in the waters here in the Northeast. Their season runs from May to September but in order to keep your catch, it must be a minimum of 19 inches in length, which I assume could get a little frustrating at the beginning of the season if they’re not full grown yet. Fluke is basically flounder, but according to information I found, all fluke are flounder, but not all flounder are fluke. Apparently “left side up” flounder are flukes, Summer Flounder, and “right side up” flounders are flounders, Winter Flounder. Good trivia material.
Fluke can be poached, sauteed, baked or grilled. As this is the season for outdoor grilling, here are a few recipes that are easy to do out on your boat. Naturally, they will be a little more involved than just throwing the fish on the heat and eating plain, but the little extra effort will be worth the time to prepare.

Easy Fluke Grilled in Foil
1 lb. of fresh fluke fillets
1 large onion, sliced
1 small container of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 Tbs. of butter, divided
1 Tb. of olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tb. of lemon juice
Salt & pepper to taste
Heavy duty aluminum foil

Heat your grill to medium -low.
Sauté onions and cherry tomatoes in 1 tablespoon of butter and half (1-1/2 tsp) of the olive oil until tender.
Cut the fillet(s) into four equal pieces. Cut 2 pieces of foil large enough to hold the 2 fillets and place 2 fillets on each piece of foil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Top with the sautéed vegetables.
Mix the garlic, lemon juice and the remaining butter and olive oil in glass cup or bowl and microwave for one minute (or let melt in the summer heat). Pour over the vegetables and fish, then seal the packets so nothing can leak out. Grill for approximately 7 minutes. Fish cooks quick and should flake easily when done. Serves 4.

Grilled Crab & Fillet Pies
6 small individual aluminum pie tins
6 small fluke (flounder) fillets
2 cups of your favorite crab stuffing mix
3 Tbs. of butter

If your crab stuffing mix is liquidy, partially cook in a pan before stuffing tins.
Lightly oil or spray the pie tins. Cut each fillet in half horizontally – down the middle so you have 2 long halves. Line the side of each pie tin with 2 fillet halves. Put 1/2 cup of crab stuffing into each tin. Top each with 1/2 Tb. of butter. Put the tins on the grill, cover and grill about 15 minutes until the fish if flaky and the stuffing looks cooked through and a little browned on top. Serves 6.

Lemon Butter Sauce
If you just want to grill your fillets quickly, you can top with this easy lemon butter sauce when serving. Make this at home and pack to bring to the boat. If it solidifies, just melt it again to use.

6 Tbs. of butter
2 Tbs. of flour
1 cup of chicken broth
1 cup of white wine
1/2 cup of lemon juice
Pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper or 1/4 tsp. of Tabasco (optional)

Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add flour and stir until mixture is golden. Add the broth, wine and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add the pepper to taste and then the cayenne or Tabasco if using. Take off the heat and store in a glass jar if not using immediately.