Serving Up Rhode Island Seafood

Fall 2020

Recipes for Preparing Local Fish

Recipes from the F/V Briana James | Photography Monica Allard Cox

To encourage people to try their hand at preparing Rhode Island seafood, local fishers James and Briana Leonard have shared recipes, including these for flounder and black sea bass. Other fish may be substituted. These and many other recipes may be found at Eating with the Ecosystem and Rhode Island Sea Grant.

Courtesy of F/V Briana James


2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
½ cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1⁄8 teaspoon paprika
1⁄8 teaspoon black pepper
4 large flounder fillets (1 ½ to 2 lbs)

4 tablespoons butter
¼ cup white wine
¼ cup water
¼ cup lemon juice
½ teaspoon parsley
lemon slices and parsley to garnish (optional)



1.) In a large skillet, heat the oil and 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat.

2.) Place the flour and all the seasonings in a plastic bag and shake to blend.

3.) Place the beaten eggs in a shallow dish.

4.) When the skillet is good and hot, put the flounder fillets in the bag one at a time and then dip in the egg. Coat them completely with the egg and place in skillet. The egg should sizzle immediately. If it doesn’t, the oil isn’t hot enough.

5.) Save 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture for the sauce.

6.) Fry over medium heat until brown on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Add extra butter if you need to.

7.) Remove from skillet, keep warm.

8.) Discard any oil left in skillet and add the butter and the 1 tablespoon of seasoned flour reserved from the flounder.

9.) Whisk until smooth.

10.) Add the rest of the sauce ingredients, stirring constantly until well blended.

11.) Bring to boil and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. If the sauce thickens too much, add more water—just 1 teaspoon at a time until you achieve the desired consistency.

12.) To serve place flounder over a bed of buttered rice (or whatever you’re using) and pour a little sauce over each fillet. Garnish with lemon slices and parsley. 

Courtesy of F/V Briana James


1 pound fresh Tautog or blackfish fillet
¼ c. butter or margarine
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp fresh chives, chopped or 1 tablespoon dried
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
3 tbsp fresh dill, chopped or 1 ½ teaspoon dried dash cayenne pepper to taste
paprika to taste
¼ c. salt, plus more to taste



1.) Place fish in salt water brine (4 cups of water mixed with ¼ cup of salt) and let it soak for 30 minutes. Wash well, then rinse and pat dry with paper towels.

2.) Preheat oven to 400°F.

3.) In a small saucepan, melt butter or margarine and stir in lemon juice, parsley, chives, dill, and cayenne, and salt lightly to taste.

4.) Cut fillets into serving size pieces and place them in a lightly oiled baking dish.

5.) Pour butter and herb mixture over fillets.

6.) Sprinkle with paprika.

7.) Bake uncovered for about 8 to 10 minutes or until fish begins to flake. 

8.) Transfer fish to a warm serving platter.

9.) Boil pan juices until reduced to about ¼ cup and pour over warm fish.

10.) Serve immediately.

Read More

Learn more about the Leonards and how other local fishermen are adapting to a changing industry in the face of COVID.

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