1/2 C. unsalted butter
1 medium onion chopped
1 rib celery chopped
1/3 C. chopped red bell pepper
4 slices white bread, torn into pieces (about 2 cups)
1/2 C. finely diced cooked country ham
2 large eggs lightly beaten
1 Lb. fresh lump crabmeat drained
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbs. sherry
4 (3/4 to 1 Lb.) whole flounders dressed
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
Garnish: celery leaves
1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat and set aside _ cup.
2. Add onion, celery and red bell pepper to skillet and saut for 5 minutes or until onion mixture is tender.
3. Remove from heat and add bread, country ham, eggs, crabmeat, salt, pepper, parsley and sherry. Toss gently.
4. Make a slit down the center of the top of the fish to the backbone.
5. Slide the knife blade along the backbone on each side of the cut to open the cavity.
6. Spoon crab mixture into the cavity.
7. Place fish on a lightly greased rack of a broiler pan.
8. Combine reserved _ cup butter and lemon juice and pour over the fish.
9. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork.
10. Garnish, if desired.
Capt. Dick May is the owner of Easy Rider Charters in Bokeelia. He can be reached at 239-283-3247 or easyridercharters.com. "Capt. Dick's Seafood & Southern Country Cooking" (new cookbook) can be ordered for $14.95 plus $3 postage by calling the number above or by mailing a check (made out to Dick May) to 7989 Judge Bean Road, Bokeelia, FL 33922.