Pan Fried Grouper

Have I mentioned that winter isn’t my favorite time of year……well it isn’t. I’m basically a shorts and t shirt person all year long, at work its chef coats and black pants in all kinds of weather, to me that’s part of being a professional….but when works over or on weekends, please don’t ask me to put on big boy pants unless I absolutely have to!  You would think with that type of attitude I would live in the south…..sigh…..you would think so…..did I mention I miss Texas.Well enough of that, lets move on to why you came here today, food glorious food.   We are blessed to be able to not only eat as well as we do, but have the opportunity to choose items to make for fun.  I like to say a few words about that from time to time, just as a reminder that the area food banks can use your help all year long.  We always think of them around Thanksgiving and Christmas, but the sad truth is people need help all year long.  So please friends, do what you can, when ever you can…..everything helps.You know I have been on my quest to eat better, well lets not get crazy, better than I did eat, but within reason!  We have been eating clams and linguine once a week (my wife’s favorite), and now I have added fresh fish to the weekly menu.  I can see why we don’t eat more fish…..it’s really expensive!   So while I am on my quest for more seafood, we have almost eliminated eating out, which more than compensates for the added cost.
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!

Tomato-Olive Salad
6 Compari Tomatoes Quartered
6-8 Olives
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!

Comments

  1. Yum, crunchy grouper is great! Wishing you no more snow. It really is enough, isn't it? Great dinner, Chef.

  2. I love Grouper, fried or steamed. It is very delicious and healthy, thanks for sharing :)

  3. I am glad I saw this post. This weekend for cooking club, we will be preparing grouper. Your post has inspired me to prepare similar side dishes.
    We are lucky here in Florida. grouper is widely available.

    Cheers to another great post.

    Velva

  4. Down home cooking stepped up a few notches. Well done. I want to replicate this meal this week. Looks delicious! Soaking the fish in milk really makes a difference, and who doesn't love a crunchy coating! Thanks for sharing.

  5. mangiabella says:

    who needs to eat out with all of your amazing dishes??? My husband is a huge fan of eating fish fried – but has expanded his horizons over the years LOL – this looks fantastic Dennis!

  6. Joy (The Herbed Kitchen) says:

    I cannot wait for the tomato season to start. Like you, I find there is no point buying tomatoes in the middle of winter but those Compari tomatoes do look lovely. A little fried fish is good for your brain, it needs the cholesterol! ;)

  7. The grouper sounds delicious, but I'm all over that tomato olive salad! I can't believe I haven't had that combo yet! I'll put it in the queue!

  8. I th ink this is Kismet – I found some compari tomatoes in the store (overpriced) but so red I had to bring them home. I needed color. The post rang true to me – I usually miss NYC (warmer than MN although not Texas) every winter. Except this year – NYC is having a worse winter than me – and mine is pretty bad! I love that this is hearty enough for the cold but light enough to keep my dreams-of-spring clicking aay.

  9. baking.serendipity says:

    You have two of my favorites here…pan fried grouper and au gratin potatoes. This meal looks fantastic, Chef! I'm thinking warm thoughts for you, and trying to share some of our Arizona warmth! Hope your week starts of warmer and well :)

  10. lostpastremembered says:

    Grouper is just one of those fish I don't see often enough… and it's so good… this technique would work well with cod and others I imagine and I love the cheesy potatoes with it… great simple combination!

  11. Hmmmmm fish meals lately Chef Dennis? This is so healthy and what a delicious fish meal. I am also trying to add more fish to the menu and I just did a wonderful salmon with passion fruits that tasted awesome.

    Have a wonderful day and yea no no SNOW for you :p Spring will soon be in :)
    Regards,
    Elin

  12. Chow and Chatter says:

    looks delicious love fish you need to move to FL!

  13. A SPICY PERSPECTIVE says:

    Trust me, I've been thinking "no snow" for over 6 weeks, but it hasn't exactly helped!

    CD this is a lovely preparation for grouper. It's sort of low-counrty meets fine dining!

    PS~ I do believe clam pasta is considered health food! ;)

  14. denise @ bread expectations says:

    We could trade places Dennis – I'd like some really cold weather for a change. All this sun is frying my brain :P Best wait till April though, lately it's been raining like Noah's coming *sheesh*

    I adore grouper too – but it is pricey, though really worth every dollar for it's amazingly sweet and chunky flesh Mmmmmm!

    Love the way you cooked and served this – the potatoes, the salad and that beautifully fried fish!!

  15. thecompletecookbook says:

    I am not a happy winter person either. I will definitely miss Mauritius winters when we leave! :-(
    Your meal looks and sounds heavenly. I love simple dishes that produce heaps of flavour.
    :-) Mandy

  16. Wendy Irene (Give Love Create Happiness) says:

    Chef Dennis I am so glad you mentioned donating food!! My husband and I made that our goal for this week too and are planning on donating when we go grocery shopping. It is a truly fantastic way to give back. Have a wonderful week!

  17. All That's Left Are The Crumbs says:

    Low 70's is winter enough for me. The grouper looks delicious.

  18. I'm originally from California. The thought of moving to Pennsylvania in a year or so and living in snow doesn't appeal to me. But, I have family there and my in-laws will soon be there so it looks like we'll be headed that direction.

    Let's see how fast this California, Bay Area girl starts whining when it gets to be 22 for a daily high and snow up to my butt. Haha.

  19. Foodtographer says:

    I understand about being professional…do it everyday myself…but about wearing the "big boy pants" cracks me up…I'm from PA but rather wear jeans instead…no shorts here unless I'm on a beach in Hawaii…do't work for me in the "Area of Brotherly Love"…CHEERS!

  20. Food, Fun and Life in the Charente says:

    What a delicious meal and so simple, I am not sure I can get grouper so I may have to make a small change there. The cheesy potatoes sound fantastic. Guess what is on the menu for dinner tonight.
    I also hate winter and wonder why I spend winter in the UK!! Diane

  21. Again I can only say that your dish looks amazing :) I envy you for such creativity making it look so delicious :)
    Oh.. I dont know already if I like summer when it's 38 C :))

  22. Jill Colonna says:

    Just like you – hate winter, but thanks for this cheery post. Fabulous as usual! You really have inspired us to have more fish.

  23. Yum. Grouper always makes me think of my honeymoon. 1986. The Bahamas. First time I had even heard of grouper and I've loved it since.

  24. You are definitely the fish master and it is a major weakness in my cooking, so I'm glad you're making it often and I can learn.

  25. I'm through with the snow this winter too! No more please! This grouper though, I don't think I could get enough of this! It looks fantastic!

  26. Pegasuslegend says:

    Being in Florida we eat alot of grouper, as my husband goes out on our boat often to catch fresh fish. I always fry grouper the same way you do! I have tried it so many different ways, and fried (although not the healthiest way) in canola oil for me is best! I love this also in a sandwich. It needs nothing, the fish is light in flavor and flakey delicate! You did an awesome job! Lovely photo!

  27. Yum and yum! The potatoes look amazing! I've been craving mac and cheese too! I think my beau (who is a professional chef and thus has a total advantage) and I are going to do a mac and cheese 'iron chef' competition for super bowl!!! :D

  28. I'll send you as much good weather as I can from down here in the southwest…but it's only supposed to a high in the 50's here by Wednesday, I don't want to give you too much.. sorry :)
    I love your new fish postings! Though we don't get to buy a lot of fresh fish.. you know I love my tilapia, and all these recipes I can adapt to it! Thanks for sharing!

  29. Mikaela Cowles says:

    Seems one of the best things about not eating out, beyond it costing less, is no having to wear big boy pants. Love it. The Grouper looks fabulous. Have you ever soaked it in butter milk instead of regular milk? I wonder how that would go.

  30. I'd really love to prepare more fish, but being land locked in Colorado a $25 dollar disappointment on the dinner table can intimidating. Maybe I need to try more crunchy recipes.

  31. Stephanie says:

    Grouper is the best fish in the sea! Haha, that's what my father-in-law always says! That looks so yummy! Every time I see your fish recipes, it makes me want to go buy some!

  32. Cake Duchess says:

    Pan fried grouper with those amazing potatoes! Oh and the tomato salad…I could have eaten just that w/some fresh bread. A perfect meal. Lovely photos!
    I am thinking "no snow" thoughts for you Dennis. ;)

  33. Emily Malloy says:

    This is gorgeous, absolutely perfect!

  34. It looks delicious! This is something my hubby will appreciate. The tomato salad has enchanted me, I have to try it.

    Have a beautiful week :)

  35. I have to make that potato recipe. I love it and I think my daughter will as well.

  36. Being from Belgium we do not know Grouper. What kind of fish is that.
    And unfortunately there is some snow in Belgium too.
    We are not used to winter like that. Normally we never have snow.
    We see you and until the next question.
    Greetings,
    Annick

  37. Pretend Chef says:

    This is the perfect recipe for my "Stir the Pot". Yummy! I have no experience with Grouper and am happy to have a new source to look to. How can you go wrong with pan fried? Sigh. Yummy! Makes my stomach growl just looking at the pictures! I've added your Potatoes Au Gratin to my menu planning since I have all of those ingredients on hand.

  38. Sippity Sup says:

    Grouper is "short pants" kind of fish! At least to this ex-Floridian! Beautiful. GREG

  39. gigabiting says:

    Don't let the weather get you down. We know it's just an excuse for a good braise.

  40. jose manuel says:

    Un plato muy interesante y sabroso.

    Saludos

  41. Georgia (The Comfort of Cooking) says:

    Sorry to hear you're suffering through the harsh PA winter, but I would love to be in your shoes! I'm a winter lover, but though I'm moving to Texas from California soon, I'm looking forward to staying in the sunshine. Thanks for sharing this beautiful grouper dish, Dennis. You're such a talent in the kitchen and behind the lens!

  42. Brandie@thecountrycook says:

    You really are trying to get me to eat more fish, aren't you??? :)

  43. I love grouper and yours looks so good and crispy. It is hard to find fresh fish in IL, unless you go to the Fulton St Fish Market in downtown Chicago.

    Just a warning, We have blizzard warnings for tomorrow and Wed.in the Chicago area, "14-21". Sorry chef:(

  44. You can't beat a little bit of naughty but nice, Dennis. Why make your grouper the healthy way when you can have it pan-fried?! :)

    Grouper's widely available here in Fethiye. We've never cooked it like this so will definitely give this a go!

  45. ladymorgiana says:

    This looks so delicious! Yum on the plate :)
    But I'm with you on no-snow policy! Seriously, I miss sunshine and warmth and Warsaw seems to be stuck under snow and cold… Wish spring comes soon!

  46. momgateway says:

    Grouper is so expensive where I now live… used to be I could enjoy grouper fried , steamed, in soup, grilled…this post bring back fond memories of those idyllic days…maybe I'll get to enjoy them again when I visit home…

  47. Spicie Foodie says:

    I also hate winter:( You are so right about people in need and food banks needing help year round. Grouper is such a great fish, love the way you prepared it. Your photos are just gorgeous!

  48. Hope you guys are holding up after the last snow storm. I can't believe you got more snow!! Crazy. Loving your grouper dish. The crust is hard to resist. Beautiful photos. And it's perfect how you paired it with gratin.

  49. Angela@RecipesFromMyMom says:

    As I was reading your post and gazing at the plate of food, although I love the fried fish, I was immediately worried I would never know how to make tomatoe olive salad. You are so good to us to include so many recipes in one post!

  50. Evan @swEEts says:

    Man we were just talking about how we needed to eat more fish and then you bring me this pan fried grouper! I love grouper! How bout this? I'll trade you Texas for Pennsylvania.. I would give anything to be back on the east coast!

  51. RamblingTart says:

    I'm a summer weather sort of soul too. :-) I just returned from Australia and am aching to go back. I've never had grouper – but I love fish, especially with crunchy coating. :-)

  52. Well Dennis, with an appetizing grouper prepared this way…I guess I can cheat along with you and have it pan-fried too ;o)
    Excellent fish selection.

    Btw…glad you made a mention about helping out our very needy food banks ;) They are truly in serious need. Once a week, our community center gets depleted of food stock within 15 minutes!

    Have a great week,
    Claudia

  53. You never disappoint! I love the combination of flavors.

  54. now you're taking my language, grouper is my favorite too (red snapper maybe close second) and pan fried is nothing but the best…
    Compari tomatoes have been really good here too, the better flavor of any this time of year, normally like the vine cluster but even now, they are a little grainy…

  55. You make it look so easy! I'm craving this now. I need to hit our local fish market and see what kind of inspiration I can get:) Have a great week.

  56. Torviewtoronto says:

    this meal looks healthy and delicious looks wonderful

  57. Dionne Baldwin says:

    I have to agree I LOVE shorts and t shirt weather! This winter stuff really isn't fun. But I must say, if it's going to be cold it might as well snow. :) I would like snow here where I am for 48 hours please. At least 1 foot. Amen.

    Now back to your dish. I love the photo and how it pops out against the black background! The entire plate is beautiful and colorful! I'm not a huge fish fan and I have never had grouper, but something fried on occassion is refreshing! I think it awakens the fun part of taste buds. Not that I don't do that enough with sweets. Heeheehee.

    I think I might just start cooking my way through your blog…

  58. scrambledhenfruit says:

    Sending you some "no snow" vibes. :) The grouper (and everything else too)looks delicious!

  59. We are warm here in Texas (almost 80 degrees!) but snow is in the forecast for us on Friday! I hope that we can keep that away! I'm sending you warm thoughts! I think your grouper sounds amazing. I don't know how you could prepare it any other way. Thank you for sharing such a creative and delicious recipe with me. I hope you have a safe and warm day tomorrow…we miss you in Texas!

  60. Anna Johnston says:

    The grouper sounds amazing Chef :) Sounds like your totally over the cold & snow & suffering a little cabin fever my friend :) Hope the weather gets a bit warmer for you soon.

  61. the constant hunger says:

    I haven't had pan-fried fish in a while and grouper is always an economic option. I like that you've soaked the fish in milk. My grandma used to do that. This is a great quick weeknight meal.

  62. All that snow! It's been unreal this winter. Having grown up in Minnesota, I appreciate gray and rainy Seattle.

    Your grouper looks fantastic! Such a simple preparation for a perfect meal. The tomato/olive salad is a great idea, too.

  63. BEAR's Mom says:

    We're having haddock today, Chef.
    Be sure to wear your big boy pants today because here in Central PA the snow and sleet is coming down…and I know it's on the way over to your house :(
    ~victoria~

  64. Sprinkled with Flour says:

    I love fish but never cook it at home, since my husband doesn't like it. But this recipe sounds so good, I may be able to persuade him to try it:)

  65. Elizabeth says:

    I don't think you would be missing Texas on this freezing cold day- 30 for a high in Central Texas is just unreal!
    Anyway, I really want to try this grouper. We are also trying to eat healthier and I am trying to squeeze in at least one fish or vegetarian meal a week. Maybe this one will help me win my husband over!

  66. Marguerite says:

    Your grouper looks and sounds scrumptious! Love the side dishes, too! I eat fish at least twice a week and am always glad to find new ways to prepare it. Stay warm!

  67. anniebakes says:

    I am very lucky to be living on a large lake that has the most extraordinary walleye and crappie and we eat lots of fresh fish that my son and husband catch–love it!! anne

  68. Kate @ Diethood.com says:

    :)) Big boy pants :)) Thank you for the giggle … I love the post!

    That grouper looks great … golden and crunchy! I love the salad, too… delicious meal, as always!

  69. You crack me up Dennis…miss Texas! I will trade you Texas for PA…deal? Don't feel guilty about pan frying the Grouper, if that's the way you like then that's how you should eat it, either way you cook it, you are still getting the health benefits of the fish!

  70. Fish is plentiful in Florida, so we have grouper often. (Although yellowtail is my favorite.)
    Your simple coating is perfect, Dennis, and those potatoes….oh my God. I love potatoes. You feel all healthy and smug with the fish and then put those taters down on the plate. Naughty! They are my downfall. Well, those and ice cream. :)

  71. Fish is rather expensive isn't it! I always try to justify fresh fish purchases, but it has gotten difficult. Recently, I have been purchasing frozen fish from Trader Joes. It's not the most amazing fish I have ever had, but it does well for weeknight meals and the price is right.
    Yor grouper looks amazing I've never had grouper but I'll be on the hunt for it now. :)

  72. MMM,looks lovely. I'm with you that grouper is a favorite. Actually, I've gotten to the oint that I like a lot of different fish. And, Connie's getting to the point that he eats cooked salmon.

  73. That grouper looks so good! I've never tried it but will have to now. You are definitely making me crave fish! I should start working more of it into my family's diet too. Thanks for sharing!

  74. Leslie Uhl says:

    That grouper looks lovely, even though MY husband's been buying so much fish lately I'm kinda fished out…Will take a second helping of the potatoes, though, to make up for it!
    You can send all your snow our way, we just have fields of mud this year.

  75. Magic of Spice says:

    Food banks definitely need help through the year…good reminder :)
    I am so stuck on that salad, lovely, simple and fresh :) Everything looks delicious!

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