Seared Grouper Over Creamy Spinach Grits
About the recipe
The preparation of this dish makes you appreciate the magic of a restaurant kitchen, as several things need to cook simultaneously. You’ll need to be organized to keep things moving. You can test it with different store brand creole spices and get great results as well.
Recipe courtesy of Chef Henry’s Louisiana Grill in Acworth, Ga.
Hands On Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, finely diced
1 sprig fresh thyme
1/2 cup white wine
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon Tony Chachere’s Seasoning or other Creole seasoning
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 (10-ounce) bag fresh spinach, thick stems removed and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon yellow onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon sweet red pepper, finely diced
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 to 2 teaspoons Tabasco (depending on preference for heat)
1 teaspoon Tony Chachere’s More Spice Seasoning or other hot Creole seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup quick grits
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning or other Creole seasoning
2 pounds grouper (1-inch thick), cut into 6 pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional to coat
1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges, for garnish
6 sprigs fresh thyme, for garnish
To make the florentine sauce: In a 1-quart, preferably nonstick saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil. Saute shallot for 3 minutes. Add thyme and white wine, bring to a boil, and reduce by half. Add heavy cream and half-and-half. Bring to slow boil. Add garlic, onion, seasoning and pepper. Reduce by one-third. Add spinach, and cook 2 minutes. Turn off heat but keep warm on stove. Discard thyme sprig.
To make the grits: In a 2-quart nonstick saucepan over medium heat, add oil. Saute onions, pepper and garlic for 5 minutes. Add milk and heavy cream and bring to a brisk boil. Add Tabasco, hot creole seasoning, salt and pepper. Whisk well to mix (about 30 seconds). Whisk in grits and turn heat to low. Cover and cook 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in cheese. (If grits appear too thick, add warm milk, a tablespoon at a time.) Cover, turn off heat, but keep warm on stove.
To make the grouper: In a bowl, combine salt, pepper and creole seasoning. Lightly coat fish with olive oil and rub seasonings over fish.
In a large, preferably nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add remaining 2 tablespoons oil and cook fish until golden brown on bottom, about 4 minutes. Turn and cook 4 minutes more on other side. If fish is more than 1-inch thick, finish in 450 degree oven for additional 5 minutes.
To serve, place a large scoop of grits in center of warm plate. Place (don’t press) grouper into center of grits. Ladle sauce over grouper and grits. Garnish with thin wedge of lemon and sprig of fresh thyme.
Per serving: 711 calories (percent of calories from fat, 60), 43 grams protein, 28 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 47 grams fat (24 grams saturated), 183 milligrams cholesterol, 1,047 milligrams sodium.