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Grouper fishing in the Florida Keys

The Florida Keys are well know for spectacular fishing. Islamorada is called the Sportfishing Capitol of the World, everyone knows about Hemingway's angling exploits around Key West and Zane Grey made Long Key, in the Middle Keys, famous for catching bonefish and tarpon. Today they continue to be two of the most sought after fish in the Florida Keys despite that fact both aren't considered good table fare. While “Catch & Release” has become standard practice throughout the Florida Keys, we shouldn't forget there is a bounty of delicious seafood just waiting to please your palate. Whether you have been fishing the waters between Key Largo and Key West and brought home fresh seafood or have picked up your favorites at the local seafood market, the following recipes are sure to delight.

Grouper Recipes

Grouper can be found in many of the warmer ocean waters including the Pacific, Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. Grouper is a very popular especially the warmer climate areas such as Florida and the Caribbean. Grouper can grow to enormous size however the average size you will find ranges from 5-50 pounds.

In the Florida Keys you will find a variety of Grouper including black, red, gag, snowey as well as the protected Nassau and Goliath.

Grouper can be grilled, baked, sauted, deep fried, pan fried as well as poached and even "barbequed". The grouper fish has a very firm meaty texture and mild flavor. The skin should be removed prior to cooking due to its strong flavor.

Grilled Grouper Tangerine

While many grouper recipes focus on baking or frying, the grouper has a firm texture that works quite well on the grill. This grouper recipe is flavored by tangerines, scallions and fresh herbs. Quite delicious and more healthy than frying.

4 grouper filets (6 to 7 ounces)
Juice and zest from two tangerines
2 tablespoons dry white wine
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon course ground black pepper
vegetable cooking spray
2 tablespoons minced scallions
2 tablespoons red bell peppers (diced)
fresh herbs to garnish

Prepare the citrus marinade, zest both tangerines and mince fine. Combine the zest, olive oil, juice from one tangerine, white wine, herbs and course ground black pepper in a small bowl and mix well. Place the four grouper filets in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over the fish, marinade for two hours. Pour the marinade off the fish and into a small bowl and reserve for basting.

Clean the grill well before getting it hot, this will help insure the fish will not stick while cooking. Start with a grill brush and remove any burnt on material. After words with an old towel that has been slightly oiled with plain vegetable oil rub the grill down. This is what chef's call "seasoning the grill".

Preheat the grill for 5 minutes over high heat. Once the grill is very hot reduce the flames to a medium setting and grill the grouper filets for 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until the fish as reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees.

Garnish with the fresh herbs of your choice. This fish entree works very well in the summer time with cous cous or a boiled baby red potato and grill vegetables.

More on Grilling Seafood

Quick and Easy Grouper Fingers

2 pounds grouper fillets, cut into finger-size strips
1 cup of beer (or sprite)
1 cup flour seasoned with salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese

Marinate grouper pieces in beer for one hour. Dry fish well, pressing between absorbent paper towels. Roll in seasoned flour and shake off excess flour. Fry in hot oil to a depth of 1/8 inch. Fry quickly turning once. Allow approximately 10 minutes cooking time, depending on thickness of the slices. Drain on absorbent paper towels. Serve with tarter sauce and/or lemon slices.

More Grouper Recipes

Macadamia Nut Crusted Grouper

six ounce grouper filet
1 cup all purpose flour
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup macadamia nuts, chopped fine
1 cup Japanese bread crumbs (available at any Oriental food store)
2 tablespoons olive oil

Dredge grouper in flour and shake off excess. Combine bread crumbs and chopped nuts. Submerge filets in beaten eggs, then dredge in bread crumb mixture.

In a heavy sauce pan over medium heat, place olive oil and heat until hot but not smoking. Place filets in sauce pan and brown on one side, approximately two minutes. Turn filets over and place entire pan in a 350 degree oven and bake for 5 – 7 minutes (filets are done when a toothpick is easily inserted and removed from the thickest part of the filet). Set Aside.

2 cups white wine or chicken stock
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup orange juice, fresh squeezed
¼ cup lime juice, fresh squeezed
¼ cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed
¼ cup coconut milk
1 pound butter, unsalted

Combine all sauce ingredients, except for butter, in a sauce pan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until reduced by half.

Remove from heat and add butter and stir until incorporated. Place filets on a serving plate and pour sauce over top. May serve grouper on top of shoestring potatoes and sautéed spinach if desired. Serves 4.

More Grouper Recipes

Grouper Soup

4 servings

1 1/2 lbs. Florida grouper fillets
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground marjoram
non-stick cooking spray
1 teaspoon ground savory
2 15-ounce cans tomato sauce
1 cup chopped green onions
8 ounces sliced, fresh mushrooms

Cut fillets in pieces, approximately 2" x 2"; toss with paprika.

Lightly oil large skillet with cooking spray; brown fish on medium-high until it flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Remove from heat, set aside and keep warm.

In the same skillet combine tomato sauce, mushrooms, thyme, marjoram and savory; simmer on medium-low heat until mushrooms are tender.

Divide tomato sauce mixture evenly into four soup bowls; add fish and top with green onions.
More Grouper Recipes

Blue Crab Stuffed Grouper

INGREDIENTS: (2) 1 pound Grouper Filets

1 pound blue crab meat
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 chopped green pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup butter
2 cups soft bread crumbs
3 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon pepper


Florida Blue Crab Stuffing

Remove pieces of shell or cartilage from crab meat. Cook onion, celery, green pepper and garlic in butter until tender, but not brown. Add remaining ingredients; mix well.

Cut slit halfway through down the center of Grouper filets and slice horizontally to make a pocket.

Fill this pocket with crab stuffing mixture, brush with melted butter and salt. Bake at 425° for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown.
Serves 4.

More Grouper Recipes

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