Tag Archives: spinach

BBQ Grouper

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

Serves 4

  • 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.

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Strawberry and Goat Cheese Spinach Salad

My mother recently took a trip to Louisiana – New Orleans and Baton Rouge – to see family.  Her other reason for this trip was to get strawberries at the Louisiana Strawberry Festival.  She feels like Louisiana spring strawberries are some of the best things on earth.  And she is kinda right.  She was also nice enough to bring me a few pints.

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Crepes, Sweet and Savory

I had been wanting to make crepes for some time, but I kept putting it off, thinking,  I suppose, that it would be too difficult (they would stick, they would not flip right, the batter would be complicated, etc.) I finally took the plunge and was pleased to see  I was wrong.  Not too tough at all!  I don’t think in the past I had been very excited about crepes, but I had one this past summer at a crepe stand at a farmers’ market in St. Louis, and had been thinking about them since.  After reading through several recipes, I found one to try and decided to make half the batter for savory and the other half more sweet.  I do think next time I make them, I’m going to cut back the amount of egg and just increase the milk; though I was happy with mine, I felt they were just a tad bit too “eggy”.

Basic Crepe batter

From Alton Brown from the Food Network

  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • Butter, for coating the pan

In a blender, combine all of the ingredients and pulse for 10 seconds. Place the crepe batter in the refrigerator for 1 hour. This allows the bubbles to subside so the crepes will be less likely to tear during cooking. The batter will keep for up to 48 hours.

Heat a small non-stick pan. Add butter to coat. Pour 1 ounce of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly. Cook for 30 seconds and flip. Cook for another 10 seconds and remove to the cutting board. Lay them out flat so they can cool. Continue until all batter is gone. After they have cooled you can stack them and store in sealable plastic bags in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for up to two months. When using frozen crepes, thaw on a rack before gently peeling apart.

I finished my savory crepes with an aged balsamic vinegar

Crepes with Sweet Potatoes, Spinach, Mushrooms, Onions, and Fresh Mozzarella

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into pieces
  • 1 bag baby spinach
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 of above listed crepe batter
  • Parsley

Toss sweet potatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast on  a sheet pan in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until cooked through.

In the meantime, saute mushrooms and onions in pan on stove with olive oil on medium to medium high heat for about 5-8 minutes.  Add bag of spinach (add just half at a time if necessary to allow it to fit into pan) and let wilt down.  Season.

Remove pan from heat and toss mushroom onion mixture with potatoes and mozzarella.

Chop parsley and add to crepe batter with salt and pepper.  Cook crepes according to directions above.

Fill cooked crepes with spinach-sweet potato-mozzarella filling.  Roll up crepe to make them look pretty.

Crepes with strawberries, chocolate sauce, and whip cream

  • 1 pound strawberries, de-stemmed and cut into quarters
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup plus 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 of crepe batter recipe

Toss strawberries with 1 tablespoon sugar.  Let stand to allow them to get nice and juicy.

Melt chocolate chips with 1/4 cup of heavy cream in microwave.  Stir until smooth.  Add more heavy cream if needed to reach desired consistency for sauce.

With a mixer, whip the remaining heavy cream, 1 tablespoon sugar, and vanilla.  Whip until fairly stiff peaks form, but do not over-whip as the cream can separate and be ruined.  Just keep an eye on it as it is being whipped and you’ll be fine.

Add 1 tablespoon sugar to crepe batter and cook crepes as directed above.

To serve, fill crepes with strawberries and roll up nice and pretty.  Top with chocolate sauce and whip cream.  Wonder why you did not make this sooner.

my notes:

  • Next time, I’m going to change the recipe to 1 egg and increase milk to 1 cup.
  • I did not like making it in the blender.  Lots of un-mixed-up batter stuck to the blades and was a bit of a pain to fix.  Next time, I’ll just whisk it by hand.
  • During the course of my reading about crepes, I have read that you want the batter to be about the consistency of cream.