Sautéed Flounder Fillets and Lemony Green Beans

Here’s a speedy and uncomplicated method for cooking mild-tasting fish. From Molly Steven’s latest cookbook “All About Dinner” comes Sautéed Flounder Fillet with Wine Sauce along with a side dish of Green Beans with Shallots, Herbs and Lemon. All you need to complete this light and quick meal is a simple side salad.

Both dishes take approximately 20 minutes total from prep through the cooking process.

Sautéed Flounder Fillet with Wine Sauce

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 2-4 skinless flounder fillets, about 6 oz. each
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, divided into 1 1/2 Tbsp. each
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. minced shallot
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine or vermouth
  • 1 tsp. chopped capers
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • Lemon wedges for garnish, optional


  1. Pat the fish dry with paper towels. Season all over with salt and pepper.
  2. Set a heavy-bottomed skillet large enough to hold the fillets (or cook in two batches) over medium-low heat. As the skillet warms up, dredge the fish in the rice flour on a plate, flipping so both sides are lightly dusted, shaking to remove any excess.
  3. Increase the heat to medium-high, and add the oil to the skillet (use only half if cooking in two batches). When the oil shimmers, lower in the flounder. Drop the pieces of butter around the edges of the skillet, and as soon as it melts, tilt the pan to pool the butter and use a spoon to baste the fish. The butter will turn golden.
  4. In 30-60 seconds, when the fillets turn golden, flip them and repeat.
  5. Transfer the fish to a serving platter, flipping the fish so that the browner side is up. Cover tightly with foil while you make the wine sauce.
  6. Give the skillet a cursory wipe to remove any excess fat, but don’t wash it.
  7. Return the pan to medium heat, add half of the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter and the minced shallot, and cook stirring frequently, until the shallot is tender, about 1 minute.
  8. Add the wine, increase the heat to high, and cook until reduced to a glaze, another 30 seconds or so.
  9. Add the capers, parley and remaining butter. Swirl the pan to incorporate the butter and heat through. Spoon over the fish and serve immediately.

Green Beans with Shallots, Herbs and Lemon

This side dish is a great model in how a little technique and a few choice seasonings can transform basic ingredients. As Molly says in her cookbook “There is a sort of Goldilocks zone when they loose their raw taste and relax enough to offer a pleasant bite before turning limp and sad.”

At home, you can store green beans in a loose produce bag for a couple of days, but any longer, they start loosing their flavor.

Green Beans with Shallots, Herbs and Lemon

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 lb. green beans, trimmed
  • Salt
  • 1 /2 to 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 large shallot, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Flaky salt such as Maldon


  • Bring 2-3 quarts of well-salted water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Set a colander in the sink.
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallots, season lightly with salt and pepper, and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned, 4-6 minutes. Add the herbs and keep warm over low heat.
  • Once the water reaches a rollicking boil, add the beans in big handfuls, and boil until the color deepens and a bean bends a bit when you lift it out with tongs. For best flavor, stop the cooking when they are tender with only a bit of resistance, 3-5 minutes.
  • As soon as the beans are done, dump them in the colander, giving it a couple of good shakes to remove excess moisture. Quickly wipe out and dry the pan, and return it to the stove. Return the beans to the pan over medium-high heat. Use the tongs to toss briskly until the beans are nice and dry, about 30 seconds.
  • Remove from the heat, add the shallot butter and lemon, scraping the skillet with a silicone spatula, and toss to coat. Garnish with flaky sea salt and serve immediately.

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