Find the culinary cure for a cooking rut at your local seafood market
There are cooking grooves and then there are ruts. And I have definitely been in an acute rut.
Every home cook hits that wall from time to time, but given the year we’ve all had, and the hours everyone has logged preparing meals in their homes, the daily kitchen grind can feel especially tiresome. I was suffering from boredom and burnout and was desperately searching for some much needed culinary inspiration.
Funny how a trip to the local fish market can cure what ails you. On a lark, I decided to head over, curious to see what looked tasty. I spied a good looking grouper propped up on the ice and decided right there on the spot what I was making for dinner.
Grouper is a mild tasting fish. The fillets are firm and come apart in large, satisfying chunks.
A simple preparation is all you need to enjoy this delicious fish. A little time on the stove, followed by a quick trip to the oven, and my fish was perfectly cooked. Wanting to keep things uncomplicated, I roasted some broccolini to enjoy on the side and drizzled beurre blanc over the entire plate. Fresh seafood cured my boredom — and my empty belly — and it might cure yours, too.
Roasted Grouper with Citrus Beurre Blanch
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 (6- to 7-ounce) skinless grouper fillets
Freshly ground black pepper
Citrus Beurre Blanc, see recipe
Preheat oven to 450 F.
Prepare beurre blanc; cover and keep warm.
Heat oil in an oven-safe, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle grouper fillets with salt and pepper.
Place fish in pan, and cook 2 minutes. Transfer skillet to oven, and bake 6 minutes or until fish is just cooked through. Transfer to plates and drizzle with beurre blanc.
Citrus Beurre Blanc
Yields: 1½ cups
1 cup sliced shallots
2 cups dry Champagne or white wine
3 tablespoons Champagne or white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
3 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Freshly ground white pepper
Combine first 8 ingredients in a 2-quart saucepan over medium to medium-high heat. Cook 20 minutes or until most of the liquid has almost evaporated.
Reduce the heat to very low and gradually add butter, a few pieces at a time, whisking after each addition, until melted. Strain mixture through a fine wire-mesh strainer, discarding solids.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Alicia Cahill is the owner of The Kitchen Chick, 2402 Market St. in Galveston.