My ongoing quest to more regularly eat fish continues, but like with anything, some times, you just have a craving for simple, strongly flavored dish, so this dinner was such a quickie. I was in the mood for something garlicky, so I decided to make a cream sauce that focuses on roasted garlic and poured it over breaded, pan-fried grouper.
Like chicken parmesan, this is simple and delicious. The fish has a nice, crisp, tasty crust with a tender, flaky inside. The sauce, despite its modest appearance, has a creamy, round, full flavor that just explodes with that delicious, nutty, roasted garlic flavor. Unfortunately, your breath won’t help you make any friends in the short-term, but everyone should go on a garlic bender once in a while, right?
- 1.25 lb red grouper
- olive oil
- 1 head of garlic
- 1 small shallot
- 3/4 cup white wine
- 1 cup heavy cream
- knob of butter
- 1 cup bread crumbs (I used stale baguette)
- 1-2 Tbsp onion powder
- 2 tsp granulated garlic
- ground chipotle
- ground cayenne
- 2 eggs
Begin with the sauce. First, since roasted garlic is a big part of the sauce, you should roast the garlic. Lop off the top of a head of garlic, coat it in olive oil, wrap in tin foil, and roast it at 400°F for 40 minutes.
While you wait on the garlic, in a saucepan, add the wine, cream, and chopped shallot. Warm this up, and when the garlic is done, squeeze the cloves out of the papery coating into the saucepan.
Simmer this mixture for 15 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Puree this sauce in a food processor and set it back in the saucepan on very low heat until you’re ready for it. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
While all of that is going on, you should work on the fish in parallel. The first thing you should do is get the breading ready. Whisk the eggs in one bowl, fill a second bowl with flour, and a third bowl with the bread crumbs and seasonings (I just used stale baguette, pulsed to oblivion in the food processor).
Now, debone and portion the fish. Warm up a pan and melt a good sized knob of butter. Dip the fish in egg, dredge in flour, and sauté for about 1-2 minutes on each side.
Now, remove the fish from the pan, dip in the egg again, and dredge in the bread crumb bowl, coating the fish well on all sides. Return this back to the hot pan (if the butter has lots of stray flour or junk in there, just dump it and melt down some new butter–no sense adding a burnt flavor to your breading) and sauté for an additional 2-4 minutes per side.
Finally, its time to plate. Simply lay out a piece of fish and cover with a bit of the warm sauce. I served this with some butter sautéed asparagus and new potatoes. Enjoy!