A cross between sea bass and halibut, grouper is a white lean fish with a delicate mild sweet flavour, firm texture and heavy flake that remains lovely and moist when cooked. Delicious grilled, braised, poached, sautéed or barbecued, grouper is an enormously popular fish in Florida, and can be found on most menus either blackened, fried or grilled and served as Grouper Sandwiches. A gentle medium-sized fish, I've come across wild grouper while scuba diving in the warm waters off the coast of Anegada in the British Virgin Islands. A timid docile fish, grouper hide under rocky overhangs as they patiently await their prey.
Generally a docile lumbering fish, grouper can grow to over 100lbs
A delicious fish, the flesh is firm yet flaky and although it's quite lean, unlike most fish Grouper can be overcooked and still remain moist. An excellent choice for health-conscious diners because of its high nutritional value, grouper is also both low in fat and calories.
One lovely Grouper filet cut in half for 2 portions
Having purchased a beautifully fresh filet from Diana's Seafood and with lots of homemade tomato sauce in the freezer from our annual Tomato Sauce Day, the menu fell together deliciously. Served with some fresh tomatoes from our garden and a tumble of fresh brussels sprouts from the St Lawrence Market, a healthy low fat dinner was prepared within an hour. Who needs carbs when you can enjoy a pescatorian feast like this?
Grilled Grouper with Tomato Caper Sauce & Sprouts
1 oz grouper filet, cut in half
1 lemon, zested and finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cups tomato sauce, homemade or top quality purchased
2 tbsp capers, drained
1 tbsp sambal oelek chili sauce
6 baby tomatoes, for garnish
10 brussels sprouts
Combine the lemon zest, olive oil and fresh thyme in a small baking dish and using a fork, whisk to combine. Add the grouper and toss to coat. All the fish to marinate at least 20-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring the tomato sauce to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the capers and sambal oelek to taste. I like my tomato sauce with a lot of punch so I generally adjust the seasoning accordingly.
Wash and trim the brussels sprouts and place them in a steamer basket over a pot of water with a cover, in anticipation of steaming them when the fish is being grilled.
Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high and grill the fish to taste, or alternatively warm a sauté pan over medium-high heat with a little olive oil, and cook the fish until it's just done.
Steam the brussels sprouts to taste. To serve, spoon a generous pool of tomato sauce in the middle of two warmed dinner bowls and top with the grouper filets. Garnish with a few baby tomatoes and an arc of brussels sprouts.