Grouper is a sea bass with a mild, white, lean flesh. In this recipe, grouper is baked in a zesty Creole sauce. While the recipe looks long, the preparation is simple and foolproof.
- Creole Sauce
- Olive Oil - 2 tablespoons
- Onions - 4 small, cut into large dice
- Bell peppers - 2 small, cut into large dice
- Celery Stalk - 3, cut into medium dice
- Garlic - 2-1/2 teaspoons, minced
- Fresh Tomatoes - 2 large, peeled, seeded, and diced
- Fresh Thyme - 1 teaspoon, minced
- Fresh Oregano - 1 teaspoon, minced
- Fresh Basil - 1 teaspoon, minced
- Dry White Wine - 1/2 cup
- Fish stock or bottled clam juice - 3/4 cup
- Tomato Puree - 1-1/4 cups
- Salt - 3 teaspoons (if using clam juice, season to taste)
- Dried red pepper flakes - 1/8 teaspoon
- Hollandaise Sauce
- Egg Yolks - 6
- Red Wine Vinegar - 1 teaspoon
- Water - 2 teaspoons
- Warm Clarified Butter - 3/4 cup
- Salt and cayenne pepper to taste
- Fresh Grouper fillets - 3 pounds, cut into 8-ounce portions
- Shrimp - 1 pound, medium, peeled and deveined
- Green Onions - 1 bunch, thinly sliced
- Vegetable Garnish - (recipe follows)
- Vegetable Garnish (Serves 6)
- Carrots - 2 large, peeled
- Turnip - 1 large, peeled
- Rutabaga - 1 large, peeled
- Unsalted Butter - 4 tablespoons
- Sugar - 1 teaspoon
- Salt - 1/4 teaspoon
- Freshly ground white pepper - 1/4 teaspoon
- Parsley Sprigs - 1 cup, stemmed and minced
To make the sauce: heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onions, bell peppers, and celery, and cook over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, tomatoes, thyme, oregano, basil, wine, and fish stock or clam juice. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the tomato puree, salt, red pepper flakes, and cayenne and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until thick. Set side.
To make the Hollandaise sauce: Put the egg yolks, vinegar, and water in the top of a double boiler over hot water and whisk until thick and creamy. Do not allow the hot water to touch the bottom of the pan or the eggs will curdle. Add the butter a little at a time in a small stream while whisking. If the sauce becomes too thick, thin with warm water. Season with salt and cayenne. Keep warm over hot water.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Place about 3 cups of Creole sauce in the bottom of a large ovenproof saute pan or skillet or a heatproof casserole. Place the fish fillets over the sauce. Divide the shrimp among the fillets, placing them on top of the fish. Top the shrimp with the remaining sauce. Heat over high heat until the sauce simmers. Cover and bake for about 12 minutes, or until the fillets begin to flake. Divide the fillets and shrimp among six warmed serving plates. Top each with 5 tablespoons of Hollandaise sauce and sprinkle with sliced green onions. Garnish with vegetables.
Cut the carrots into 2-inch crosswise slices, then cut each slice in half lengthwise. Carve each piece into an oval shape. Cut the turnip and rutabaga in half, then cut each half into fourths. Shape the same way as the carrots, keeping all the ovals approximately the same size. These are called “tourneed” vegetables.
In a medium saucepan, boil the vegetables in lightly salted water to cover for 6 to 8 minutes, until crisp-tender; drain well. Heat the butter in a medium saute pan or skillet over medium heat, add the vegetables, and saute for about 1 minute. Add the sugar, salt, pepper, and parsley and saute for another 2 to 3 minutes.