Pan-Roasted Grouper with Butter-Poached Fingerlings

Courtesy of Chef Alex Hoefer of Fire Steakhouse at Wind Creek Casino and Hotel in Wetumpka.  |  Seafood: Fish

What you need


4 6oz Grouper filets, skin off

2 lbs. fingerling potatoes

10 cloves garlic

Fresh sweet basil

4 c. spinach or other sturdy greens

1 each shallot, peeled

1/2 q heavy cream

1 c. milk

1 tbsp. corn starch

1 bunch thyme

4 tbsp. blended olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Splash of dry white wine

Pinch of red pepper flakes

Butter (enough to cover potatoes)



Butter Poached Fingerling Potatoes


Rinse and dry potatoes and place in the smallest baking dish that will allow a single, tight layer. Melt enough butter to cover potatoes in the dish. Add 8 cloves of garlic and half of the thyme branches. Cover with foil and place in 350-degree oven. Cook until tender all the way through, usually about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove from butter carefully.


Basil Cream


In a medium pot, bring 2.5 quarts of water to a boil and add a pinch of Kosher salt. Have a dish to the side filled with ice and water for an ice bath. Pick the leaves of basil and blanch in water for about 15 seconds, then immediately remove and place in ice bath. Remove from ice water and squeeze as much water from the leaves as possible. Place in a blender.


In blender, add milk. Blend on high until uniform and green and smooth. Add corn starch and blend. Place mixture in a 1 quart pot and heat with heavy cream, then bring to a simmer while stirring continuously. Season with salt.


Skillet Greens


Wash greens thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. Remove any heavy stems and cut into medium/small strips (may not be needed for things like baby spinach). In a hot pan, add a few drops of blended oil and heat until shimmering. Add minced shallot. Add greens and sauté, then add garlic, deglaze with a splash of wine, and add a pinch of pepper flakes, then season with salt. Cook until tender and ready to eat. Finish with a small amount of whole butter.


Grouper Filets


In a hot skillet, add a small amount of oil, then wait for it to shimmer. Add seasoned fish with the flesh side down. Add a clove of garlic and half of the thyme. Once nicely browned on one side, carefully flip and finish in a 350 oven. Finish with whole butter in the pan.

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