Well it appears that another one of those polar vortex things is headed our direction and that means winter is almost here. For me, a great way to keep my mind on warmer temps and summer is to make a dish like this one I prepared a few days ago. Grouper is probably my favorite fish…and I found some really nice fillets at my local fishmonger who gets it flown in fresh every day. Solid.
- Frozen butter beans (baby lima beans)
- Grape tomatoes
- Corn on the cob
- Black eyed peas
- Olive Oil
- Chicken Stock
- Heavy cream
Soak the black eyed peas in water for at least 4 hours, preferably 6 to 8 hours. After soaking, remove the floaters, and then drain the rest. In a sauce pan, add black eyed peas and cover with water (should be two inches over the top of the peas), and then bring to a boil. When it reaches a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside. Next, in a saucepan, bring water to a boil, add kosher salt, and then add the butter beans and simmer for about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. Cook the corn on the cob. Here’s one way. Bring water to a boil in a large sauce pan, add some kosher salt, then add the corn. After one minute, take pan off the heat, cover, and let sit for 8 minutes. Slice the tomatoes in fourths.
In large saute pan, coat the bottom with thin layer of Olive Oil and bring to medium heat. Chop a couple shallots and when the oil is heated, add the shallots and cook for a couple minutes, season with a pinch of black pepper and dash of salt. Next, add all the other ingredients and saute for about two minutes. Next, add about a quarter cup of Chicken Stock and let it cook down almost completely. Then, add a few tablespoons of the heavy cream and continue to cook over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes as the liquid will cook down. Stir frequently. You want to have some of the sauce so don’t let all the liquid cook away.
Take fillets out of the fridge and let sit at room temp for 20 minutes. Pat dry. Take a baking sheet and brush the bottom with softened room temp unsalted butter. Heat your oven to 350 F. Place the fillets on the buttered baking sheet. Now brush the top of the fillets with butter and then season with kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. Before you place fillets in the oven, make the sauce.
Lemon Butter Garlic Sauce:
- 3 average size lemons (peeled and quartered)
- dry white wine
- olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- heavy cream
- butter (6-8 Tablespoons)
- salt and pepper
Heat saute pan over medium heat and add olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan (make sure you add enough). Add the chopped shallots (2) and saute for about 3 minutes, you don’t want them to brown up…so keep and eye on them. Then add the chopped garlic and saute for about 30-45 seconds. Next, add about 1/2 cup of the white wine and cook for a minute. Add the lemons and gently and carefully smash them with the back of a large spoon or even potato masher to release all of the juice. Cook and simmer for about 3 minutes. Add the heavy cream (about 2/3 cup) and continue to cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes as the liquid will reduce to about 1/2. Next, add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, and whisk to incorporate. When all the butter is added, season with kosher salt and pepper to taste. Remove sauce from the heat. Pour sauce through a fine mesh strainer retaining only the sauce and discard lemons, shallots and garlic that was trapped in the strainer. Cover sauce to keep warm while you prepare fish and succotash.
Place grouper in the 350 F oven and bake for 5 minutes. Then turn on the broiler and broil the fish for about 5-7 minutes and it should be flaky with a fork. Remove fish from oven/broiler and plate with succotash. Spoon sauce over the fish and you have a luscious white flaky fish with a beautiful sauce!
I served the fish with this Rioja that I though was a nice complement to the dish. This Rioja had mild tannins, some nice fruit on the nose and just a touch of spice.