This is one of my favorite go-to seafood recipes when I want something super flavorful and fulfilling, but relatively quick and easy. (Is it even a bouillabaisse? Or more of just a seafood stew?) Regardless, I like it and its versatile. Use whatever fresh seafood is available, and sometimes I even like to add sausage to it. Fennel can be a nice addition, too.
Clam, Grouper, and Oyster Bouillabaisse
- 1/2 pound oysters
- 1/2 pound grouper, cut into chunks
- Clams (I don’t know the pound, but I know we bought it as a bag of about 50 clams)
- 1 white onion, chopped
- 1 green or red pepper, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup white wine + 1 other cup of white wine
- 1 cup broth/stock (veggie, chicken, fish, whatever you have) + 1 more cups broth/stock
- 1/2 pound small/new potatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- Handful of chopped fresh mixed herbs if you have them
Cook potatoes in a pot of salted boiling water until just cooked through, about 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In a large pot (I use an enameled cast iron pot), sweat the onions, peppers, and garlic with the butter and olive oil over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add white wine and let reduce by about half. Add 1 cup of stock/broth and add oysters and fish. Season with salt and pepper. Let cook about 3 minutes minutes and add potatoes and let cook another minute longer.
In meantime (like while peppers are sweating), get clams started. Combine one cup wine and one cup broth in large pot with clams over medium high heat. Cover and bring to a boil. Let cook for about 4-6 minutes until clams open. (If you have a steamer insert for the pan, use that for the clams – it makes transferring them to the big stew much easier.) As clams open, transfer them to big pot of stew. Some clams will take longer than others to open, but discard any that don’t open at all.
Steamy, delicious stew
Add about 1-2 cups of the clam’s broth to the stew. Add herbs if using and season with any extra salt and pepper. Serve in big bowls with good crusty bread to sop up all the juices.
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.
Fish and Grits - the perfect combo!
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.
Look at this gorgeous, giant piece of fresh grouper!
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.