And it’s finally Grouper season again! Bottom fishing has been fast and furious, with 25-pound Black Grouper (my favorite!) being hooked, and Yellowtail Snapper catches in abundance.
Here’s a great grouper recipe from Tom McGuane, who wrote and directed Ninety-Two in the Shade, a novel-turned-movie about Key West:
Marinate 4 grouper fillets (about one and a half pounds) in 1 cup of sour-orange juice (available bottled in the Hispanic section of your food store) — or fresh here in the Keys in January and February — for one hour. Remove, reserving the juice, and dry with paper towels, then marinate in 1/3 cup of milk for about 15 minutes. Remove and dredge in 1/4 cup of flour, shaking off the excess.
Mix 1/2 cup chopped scallions and a tablespoon of crushed garlic, then saute in a blend of 1/4 cup peanut oil and 1/4 cup olive oil. When the scallions and garlic just start to brown, drain them out with a slotted spoon and reserve. Put the fish in the pan and fry until golden on each side (about 10 minutes for a 1-inch fillet). Remove to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm.
Melt a stick of unsalted butter in the frying pan, stirring constantly. Add the reserved scallions, garlic, and sour-orange juice. Let warm a bit, then spoon over the filets. Garnish with a slice of lemon and/or orange and a sprig of flat-leaf parsley. Enjoy!