Cooking Your Catch: Black Grouper

wc-c-20140503_113117Isn’t it interesting that certain foods we cringed at the thought of eating as children, now are the same foods we gravitate towards as adults? On a recent short road trip with some friends, the topic of food came up which is a regular occurrence for most people but even more so for me, given my chosen vocation. The topic….gulp, was brussels sprouts. Yes those slimy eye ball like loathed vegetable we would pretend to eat in order to avoid mom’s wrath while secretly hiding them in napkins, pockets or some unsuspecting pet. Well it turns out when prepared properly (sorry mom) those same despised brussels sprouts are amazing. So on this long car ride from Cudjoe Key to Key West, everyone agreed that when boiled they are god awful but when roasted they are quite delicious. So, as the wheels of the car turned so did the wheels in my head. I find inspiration for dinner specials wherever and whenever I can. It is definitely not my job to tell you to “Eat your vegetables!” but if you already love brussel sprouts or are ready to take that leap of faith and try something you shunned as a kid, here is a simplified home version of a great fish dinner. Enjoy…

Black Grouper, Oven Roasted Red Potato / Brussels Sprout Hash with Stone Ground Mustard Butter Sauce

Ingredients for Hash:

  • 2 cups brussels sprouts halved quartered core removed
  • 4 cups diced baby red potatoes
  • 1/2 cup vidalia onions
  • 1/4 cup cooked chopped bacon
  • 1 tbs sea salt
  • 3/4 tbs cracked peppercorn medley
  • 1/2 extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbs dried oregano
  • 1 tbs dried rosemary
  • 1 tbs dried thyme
  • 1 tbs dried basil

Ingredients for butter sauce:

  • 6 tbs or 3/4 of a stick salted butter
  • 2 tbs FRESH lemon juice
  • 2 tbs stone ground mustard
  • 1/2 tbs lemon peel (fresh)

To prepare fish:

  • black grouper filets
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • sea salt
  • cracked peppercorn medley

Lets make the veggies first.

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375
  2. Mix all the hash ingredients in a bowl and toss well with your hands.
  3. Grease a baking sheet pan with the residual oil from the mixing bowl.
  4. Then place the veggie mixture on the sheet pan spread evenly, add some extra oil if vegetables seem dry. Place on middle rack in oven and bake for about 20 minutes.

Now let’s get the fish ready for the oven.

  1. Brush another baking pan with olive oil and place grouper skin down on the pan, season with salt and pepper and just a touch of lemon juice, throw the fish in the oven while the veggies are still roasting about 7 to 10 minutes before the veggies are done.
  2. Now the sauce…
  3. While the fish and hash are cooking, melt the butter in sauté pan over medium heat, Whisk in lemon juice, mustard, and lemon peel.
  4. Turn down to low and whisk occasionally for a few minutes.
  5. Remove the veggies and fish from oven, place the veggies in a serving plate, top with fish, spoon sauce over fish. Mission accomplished!
  6. For an extra touch garnish the fish with dried French’s fried onions.
  7. Enjoy!

Chef Scott Taylor grew up on the island of Maui. He began his culinary adventure in 1985 at a beach side restaurant, having worked with, and for the top chefs of Hawaii. He worked at the Ritz Carlton Kapalua, then moved to the Keys in 1997, where he spent 10 years helping run the iconic Blue Heaven Restaurant.

On 11/11/11 Scott and his sweetheart Gabriela Espinoza opened Kaya Island Eats, a fusion of South Pacific, Asian and Caribbean cuisine.

“Serving food with passion and purpose is my life’s calling, and I answer everyday!