Over the past few weeks I have roasted whole Branzino, Pecan encrusted Red Snapper, and had my way with Corvina…..for this week I went to one of my personal favorites Grouper…….how I do love Grouper.
Now that being said, I am going to have to admit that my favorite way to eat Grouper is pan fried. I know I’m supposed to be eating more healthy, and while I do feel a little bad about cooking it that way, I have to say it was oh so good! Tender chunks of that delicate white fish practically melting in your mouth….sigh.
I served this beautiful fish with Potatoes Au Gratin and a Tomato-Olive Salad. I had found some nice Campari Tomatoes at the store and thought I would take a chance with them. This time of year we don’t see many good tomatoes in our stores, but the Compari Tomatoes seem to be a pretty good choice, they were firm, red, and actually had flavor. My wife loves olives so I thought a tomato-olive salad would be a nice accompaniment to the pan fried grouper. I have been making risotto’s, pasta’s and as I was working my way through potatoes I thought an Au Gratin would be a nice addition to the plate. (I really wanted Mac and Cheese!)
I was able to get the Grouper already filleted and ready to go, the fillets were on the big side so I cut them back to about 8 ounces raw and froze the rest for another time. I don’t like a heavy breading on fish, so I simply soaked the grouper in a little milk, then dredged the fillets in seasoned bread crumbs…..simple but effective. The Grouper had a nice even coating of bread crumbs that stayed intact, it had a nice crunch without being too heavy and protected the Grouper keeping it moist and flavorful.
Pan Fried Grouper
2 grouper fillets (7-9 oz each)
1/2 cup milk
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Olive Oil for frying
Allow the Grouper fillets to sit in the milk for about a minute, then dredge in bread crumbs getting an even coating on the fish.
Allow you pan to get nice and hot, then add your olive and pan fry the grouper 2-3 minutes on each side or until you get good color.
Place the fillets in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes.
Serve with Tarter Sauce
Potatoes Au Gratin
3-4 medium potatoes Thinly sliced
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup flour
6 oz water
6 oz milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
in a small sauce pan melt the butter and add the flour, turn down the heat and allow the flour to cook for about 5 minutes. Do not let the roux burn or get dark.
Add in your water and milk, mixing well with a wire whisk, making sure all the roux is incorporated. Usually its a good idea to have your liquids be hot before adding to your roux, but if your careful and make sure you get all the roux out of the corners of the pan you can add the liquid cold. It will not thicken right away so be patient and let it heat up.
When the mixture is hot, add the shredded cheddar and allow to melt, blending it into the sauce.
Add salt and pepper to taste .
In a baking dish line up your thinly sliced potatoes and cover with your cheese sauce.
place in a 350 degree oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until bubbly, if you want better color on the potatoes turn on the broiler for a few minutes, just keep an eye on it!
6 Compari Tomatoes Quartered
2 Basil leaves chopped
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
I promise to get back to healthier cooking methods with my next seafood dish, but I just had to do it with this lovely Grouper, and my friends it was delicious! I have been told that some less than respectable fish dealers will sell you Corvina as Grouper, and I think this is a good reason to find a good seafood source, someone you can talk to and build a relationship with. For what your going to be paying for seafood, you want to make sure your getting what you pay for.
Now before I let you go, I wanted to mention that my friend Nancy over at Spicie Foodie is having her monthly event, Your Best Recipe. You can find one of my favorites over at her site as well as a lot of other wonderful entries. Please stop by and say hello, tell her Chef Dennis sent you!
Have a great week and think NO SNOW…….please!