Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Pan Seared Grouper topped with a Cajun Shrimp Sauce

Pan Seared Group topped with a Cajun Shrimp Sauce

I have a friend who enjoys deep sea fishing. She brought me a pound of grouper from her last trip. The fillets were very thin. They were the perfect size for fish tacos, but I was taco-ed out. I knew that I didn’t want to waste fresh grouper in fish stew. What to do? What to do? I decided on Pan Seared Group topped with a Cajun Shrimp Sauce. This was a great idea.

Making the fish stock is time consuming and labor intensive, as it requires you to peel the shrimp rather than purchase them already peeled, but trust me it is worth it. Also, once you start cooking this goes very quickly, so you should mise en place. That means that you chop, cut and measure everything before you get started. All the ingredients and utensils should be laid out ready for you to use. This recipe is a little more involved than most, so read through it before you begind.

Servings 3-4
Time: Active time: 25 minutes; Cook: 60 minutes; dinner in about an hour and a half
Hardware:  measuring spoons and cups, a cutting board and a knife, a large pot, a strainer, a non-stick skillet (I prefer cast-iron), a can opener, tongs, a wooden spoon, a large bowl, enough small bowls to hold all the veggies, 2 clean plates and paper towels

  • 1 pound of very thinly sliced grouper
  • ½ pound jumbo shrimp (21-25 count)
  • ½ pound pre-cooked crawfish
  • 4 cups water + 3 tablespoons
  • ½ a red bell pepper (4 ounces)
  • ½ a small onion (4 ounces)
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 to ½ tablespoons Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning (depending on level of spice you prefer)
  • 1-14.5 ounce can of low sodium diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 cups of cooked hot white rice
  1. Peel and devein the shrimp. Save the shells. Remove the crawfish tails, but save the shells. Put the shrimp and crawfish tails in the fridge until you need it.
  2. Put the 4 cups of water onto boil. Add the shells.
  3. Dice the veggies, keeping them separate. Remove the white membrane from the pepper. Add all the veggie scraps-the pepper top and membrane, the parsley stems, the celery leaves, a few pieces of onion-to the boiling water. Boil for about 30 minutes. Strain the seafood stock into the large bowl. Throw all the strained stuff away.
  4. Wash the fish in clean water and pat dry. Salt and pepper the fish generously. Place on a clean plate. Spray the pan with cooking spray and heat over high. When the pan is very hot, add the fish in a single layer. The pan should be hot enough for the fish to get a sear very quickly, no more than two-three minutes. Flip the fish and remove from the pan to the clean plate as soon as the fish has a golden sear. You may need to cook in batches.
  5. Add the oil to the same pan and turn down to medium high. Add the onion, pepper and celery and sauté until the veggies begin to soften, stirring often. Push the veggies to the side add the shrimp. Sprinkle the creole seasoning onto the shrimp and veggies. Flip the shrimp as soon as they are opaque. Remove them from the pan as soon as they are done. Err on the side of under-cooking, as they will cook some when added to the sauce.
  6. Add the tomatoes and two cups of the fish stock to the pan. Bring to a rapid boil and stir. Dissolve the cornstarch into 3 tablespoons of cold water. Pour the cornstarch-y water into the boiling sauce. Stir. The sauce should thicken. If it is too thick add a little more stock. Remove from the heat. Add the shrimp, crawfish tails and parsley to the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
  7. To plate, make a bed of rice, add a few fish fillets and top with the shrimp sauce.

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