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Make-ahead meal includes pasta salad, flounder fillets

| Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2003

Too hot for hot food• Set aside some time one night to make everything in advance. Something cool, such as a sherbet or a plum smoothie, would be a great dessert.


Tortellini, Green Bean
and Red Potato Salad

  • 2 pounds small redskin potatoes
  • 6 ounces fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 6 ounces fresh or frozen cheese tortellini
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 green onion, green part only, cut into very thin rings
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
  • 1/4 cup very thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2 Granny Smith apple, cored and cut into small dice

Place the potatoes in a pot of cold water, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, uncover and cook the potatoes until just past fork-tender. Reserving the cooking water, strain out the potatoes and allow to cool. When cool, quarter the potatoes.

Blanch the green beans in the potato cooking water just until bright green and crisp-tender, for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the beans, again reserving the cooking water, and cool under running cold water or in an ice-water bath. Set aside.

Bring the water back to a boil and add the tortellini. Cook until al dente, for 3 to 6 minutes or according to package directions. Drain the tortellini and run under cool water, or cool the pasta in the ice-water bath used for the green beans. Drain again.

In the bowl of a small food processor (or a larger stainless-steel bowl, if making the dressing by hand), combine the wine, vinegar, sugar, mustard and garlic. Mix well to combine. Drizzle in the olive oil and mix until emulsified. Fold in the green onion and parsley, and season with the salt and pepper.

Combine the quartered potatoes, beans, tortellini, red onion and apple. Stir to combine. Add the dressing and mix well. Refrigerate overnight.

Makes 4 servings.


Sauteed Flounder Fillets

  • 12 to 16 ounces flounder fillets, washed and patted dry
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Vegetable oil, for sauteing
  • About 1/4 cup plain yogurt or sour cream, or to taste
  • Prepared white horseradish, to taste (optional)
  • Tartar or cocktail sauce (optional)

Coat both sides of the fillets with vegetable cooking spray and lightly season with the salt and pepper. Lightly dredge the fillets in the flour, shaking off all excess flour.

Heat just enough oil in a wide heavy-bottomed saute pan to cause the oil to run when it's hot and the pan is tilted. Add the fillets and allow them to turn a beautiful golden brown, first on one side and then the other. The fillets are done when the fish flakes and has lost its translucence, after 2 to 4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets. Remove from the pan, and refrigerate the fish.

For a quick and simple horseradish sauce to serve with the fish, combine the yogurt with the horseradish. Mix well to combine. Other options include dollops of tartar or cocktail sauce.

Makes 4 servings.

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