Baked Flounder With Shrimp-and-crab Stuffing

BAKED FLOUNDER WITH SHRIMP-AND-CRAB STUFFING

1-1/2 cups soft bread crumbs
1/4 cup butter or margarine
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces fresh or frozen shrimp, cooked, shelled, and coarsely chopped
6 to 8 ounces fresh crab meat or frozen crab meat, thawed
2 tablespoons snipped parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 1- to 1-1/4 pound dressed flounder (with head and tail)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
Lime slices (optional)
Green onion (optional)

In a 10-inch skillet cook bread crumbs in the butter or margarine over medium heat until golden brown and crisp. Remove crumbs to mixing bowl.

In the same skillet melt butter or margarine. Add green onions, celery, green pepper, and garlic. Cook over medium heat until vegetables are tender. Add vegetables to bread crumbs.

Stir chopped shrimp, crab meat, parsley, salt, red pepper, and black pepper into bread mixture.

Rinse fish and pat dry. To cut a pocket, place flounder on a board, dark side up. Make a slit in the center of fish, cutting lengthwise along backbone. Cut a pocket on both sides of first cut.

Stuff fish loosely with bread mixture. Place fish in a greased 15-1/2 x 10-1/2 x 2-inch baking dish. Brush fish with butter. Bake in a 400 degree F oven about 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Transfer fish to a serving platter. Garnish the cooked fish with lime slices and green onion, if desired. Makes 4 servings.

Tip: To serve stuffed flounder, cut crosswise across the top of the fish and stuffing to the backbone. Then, holding the knife horizontally, cut around outside edge of fish. With a spatula, lift off the meat and stuffing. To remove backbone, slide a knife under backbone, starting at tail, and lift if away from fish. Use a fork to help lift bone. Cut fish into serving-size pieces and serve with stuffing.