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Flathead Fillets Tahitian


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Flathead fillets Tahitian

Chef: Bonita Brown

Degree of difficulty: Medium

You need:

Flathead fillets (I usually use two per person)


Grated nutmeg (optional)

Cheese to melt (I prefer mozzarella)

Chopped flatleaf parsley to serve


Fillet the fish with a good quality and very sharp filleting knife. Taking care to cut the flesh from around the bones that surround the gill flaps and stomach cavity. Even with the best filleting technique expect some bones to remain in this part of the fish fillet.

These bones are called pin bones and can be teased out with a pair of fish tweezers. Its essential to remove these as we are going to cover our fish with sliced bananas and grated cheese and obviously don't want our guests biting into a fine bone from the onset.

Another way around these pin bones is to cut the fillet along the lateral line and only use the top portion, this may seem wasteful but ensures no bones. If you choose this method select larger fillets.

Obviously if you have purchased fillets most of these bones will have been removed but take care still to check for the pin bones. Running the tip of your finger along the lateral line towards the butt end of the fillet (where the head would have been) should find them. If the bought fillets have the fill flap attached these have to be removed.

Next, skin the fillets.

Pat dry with paper towel and lightly season with salt and pepper if desired. Set aside together on a greased baking dish. (Butter is the preferred medium, but dietary considerations can mean a substitute like canola oil)

Next slice the bananas, on the diagonal, medium thickness and cover along the fillets. Option here is a very light sprinkle on the banana with grated nutmeg.

Next cover the fillets and bananas with your favourite grated melting variety of cheese.

Take care to cover the fillets evenly and completely.

Bake in a pre heated (175 degrees C) until the cheese has melted and is slightly golden. If baked too long the cheese will be crusted and not the right texture. Chances are the fish will be overcooked as well.

The actual cooking times may vary slightly with the dish depending on how thick the fillets of fish are, how thin you slice the bananas and how much cheese if covering the fish and bananas. A little experimentation and practice will ensure great results.

Sprinkle with a little coarse chopped flat leaved parsley and serve.

Serving Suggestion: A glass of crisp, chilled Riesling goes wonderfully well with this dish. As does plain boiled rice and a fresh green salad.

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