I recently went on a week long vacation to Florida (more specific details in an upcoming post), but we rented a beach house and were able to cook several meals at home, which was great because there is so mush fresh seafood there. Grouper, snapper, oysters, clams, crab, shrimp. I was in heaven! I think I probably ate over a hundred oysters while there, and, sadly, I’m not kidding. So, the next few posts will feature lots of that seafood! Oh – and the plates we had at the beach house are pretty flashy, so just bear with it.
The below recipe is pretty basic – seared grouper with some bbq sauce slathered on, grits, and sauteed spinach with garlic. Normally, I would like to make my own BBQ sauce (like here), but you have limited means in a unfamiliar kitchen with only so many pantry supplies, so we went with store bought. As for the grits, just use my recipe here (yes, mine is with yellow cornmeal, but I could not find white corn meal that was more coarse ground). I did do some improvising because we did not have any Parmesan, but we did have cream cheese so I threw some of that in.
BBQ Grouper with Grits and Spinach
- About 2 pounds grouper (or a little less will be fine, as our portions were quite large)
- About 1/2 cup BBQ sauce, preferable homemade, but go with store bought in a pinch (like I did)
- 2 cloves garlic, VERY thinly sliced
- 1 big bag baby spinach
- 2 tablespoons butter
Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a large cast iron pan, heat some olive oil or vegetable oil (about 2 TBS) over medium high heat. Season fish with salt and fresh cracked pepper on both sides. Once pan and oil is hot, add fish to pan. My cast iron is fairly big so I was able to fit all portions into one pan. If yours is small, do it in 2 batches. Sear fish on one side about 2-3 minutes. Turn and sear another couple minutes. Brush top side of each piece of fish liberally with bbq sauce. Place in oven and cook another 3-5 minutes depending on how thick/large you grouper portions are.
While fish is cooking in oven, melt butter over medium heat in medium sized skillet. Once butter starts to get foamy and turn brown (but not burned! It will smell kind of nutty when ready), add garlic slices. Let cook for 1-2 minutes until garlic browns (but not burns! Adjust heat if necessary). Add spinach to pan, toss with butter and garlic and cook until wilted all down, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with fish and grits.