Tuscan Grouper with White Beans

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(All photos in this post are by LibbyVision.com)

 

One of my favorite go-to recipes is Tuscan Shrimp with White Beans from Michael Chiarello and the Food Network.  I almost always have the ingredients on-hand and it’s a quick recipe that you can pull together in no time.  It’s especially nice on chilly evenings.  This recipe has some heat to it, but you can very easily omit that if spicy isn’t your thing. This is grain-free, gluten-free, and so delicious!  If the Basil is a little bit too much for you, use fresh Baby Spinach leaves.

Our talented friend Libby from LibbyVision.com was looking for something to make with some beautiful local Red Grouper last week; she had white beans and tomatoes on hand and loves spicy food.  I sent her the link to the Tuscan Shrimp recipe and told her that it would be a great place to start.  She used it as inspiration and built her own delicious meal using the recipe as a guideline.  Not only did she create a delicious meal, but she also took some absolutely stunning photographs of it to share with you.

 

Tuscan Grouper with White Beans  (Serves 2)
(Adapted from Tuscan Shrimp with White Beans by Michael Chiarello)

  • 1 pound fresh Grouper Fillet
  • 1 can (15 ounces) White Beans
  • 4 cloves fresh Garlic (sliced)
  • 1 cup tomatoes (peeled and seeded), 1 can diced tomatoes, or about 15 grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup fresh Basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Lemon juice
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Parsley
  • Olive Oil  (you can use any oil that works with your dietary needs)
  • 1 sliced Serrano Chile or Red Pepper Flakes  (optional)

 

Drain the beans over a bowl and reserve the liquid. Place the white beans in a large skillet with just enough of their liquid to moisten them (about 2 tbsp).  Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and bring the beans to a low simmer.  Keep them warm while you prepare the shrimp.

 

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Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the grouper, season with salt and sear (about 2-3 minutes per side).  Remove the grouper carefully to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

Reduce the heat to medium high.  Add the garlic to the pan and saute until the garlic browns, stirring frequently. Add the serrano and cook for 1 minute.  Add the tomatoes and cook one minute.  Add basil and stir briefly, then add the lemon juice.  Season with salt and pepper.  Toss well and add the grouper back to the pan to reheat the fish.

Spoon the white beans on a platter or individual plates.  Drizzle them with the best olive oil you have, and then top with the grouper and spoon the tomato-basil-pepper mixture over the fish.  Top with chopped parsley.  Serve warm.

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Pink Shrimp & Pancetta Quiche

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(Photo by LibbyVision.com)

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( Photo by LibbyVision.com )

 

You may remember our Crab and Bacon Quiche recipe from a while back.  This is an easy thing to pull together and it’s perfect for lunch, brunch, or dinner.  Just add a side salad or a cup of soup and you’re all set!  You can pretty much use anything you have on hand.  I had some Smoked Gouda leftover from the holidays that hadn’t been eaten and some pancetta in the fridge… you can use any cheese you like or happen to have.  I made a Pink Shrimp & Pancetta Quiche last week and our friend Libby from LibbyVision.com styled it and photographed the finished product for me!

NOTE:  For this and other savory pie recipes, I replace half of the flour in the following recipe with yellow cornmeal.  If you do not want to do this, go ahead and use 1-1/2 cups of flour and omit the cornmeal.  For this particular recipe, I used half yellow cornmeal and half gluten-free flour… which makes this gluten-free!

 

Basic Pie Crust:

  • 3/4 cup gluten-free flour
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1/2 stick), cut into small pieces
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons ice water

 

Put flour and salt into a medium size bowl.  Cut in the shortening/butter using a fork or a pastry blender until all the pieces are smaller than peas and it reminds you of a wet sandy mixture.  Add the ice water one tablespoon at a time until it comes together into a ball.  If you DO opt to add cornmeal, you might need a little more water to get it to form a ball.  Just add it a little bit at a time.  Shape it into a disc, cover it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  (You can do this a day ahead, too!)  Roll it out and place in your pie dish.  You can also do this in a stand mixer or food processor if you feel like washing it.  You can also just skip ALL of this and buy a prepared pie crust.

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On to the quiche…

Pink Shrimp & Pancetta Quiche:

  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup half & half
  • 8 ounces shrimp  (peeled, deveined, chopped, and cooked)
  • 4 ounces pancetta  (chopped)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese 
  • 1 small onion  (diced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • fresh thyme

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and gather your ingredients.  I did not add salt to the quiche because the cheese and pancetta already have so much salt.

Sauté the onion and pancetta until the onions are soft and the pancetta has a little color to it.  Mix together the remaining ingredients and stir in the onions and pancetta last (so it has a chance to cool off and doesn’t cook the eggs).  Pour the mixture into your prepared pie crust.

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Bake at 350 degrees for around 45 minutes.  As soon as the center is set (not wiggly) and it’s brown and bubbly, it’s done.  Let it sit for about 15 minutes before you slice it.  The possibilities are almost endless with this.  You can use cooked shrimp, cooked lobster, and any combination of cheeses!  Enjoy!!  We topped ours with some fresh local tomatoes and organic microgreens.

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( Photo by LibbyVision.com )

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(Photo by LibbyVision.com)

Crab Imperial

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Photo by LibbyVision.com

This is a very easy, yet elegant, appetizer.  Crab (and all shellfish) just has such a special occasion feel to it.  You can easily swap the Brioche for a gluten-free bread or breadcrumb if you are so inclined.  I like to serve this in Phyllo cups or little Puff Pastry cups.  You could bake it in small ramekins and serve it next to a steak or bake a big spoonful of it on top of a piece of fish – but it makes a truly lovely appetizer.  By serving it in a little Phyllo cup, it becomes bite sized and perfect for passing around – no plates or forks needed!

We partnered up with the extremely talented Libby Vision to get this delicious Crab Imperial recipe posted just in time for your New Year’s Eve gathering!  I made the Crab Imperial and she worked her magic to create these beautiful images of it.

If you are using Puff Pastry cups, you will need to pre-bake them (leave them slightly undercooked and remove the centers once they have cooled enough to handle them).  The Phyllo cups only need to be thawed.  Set them aside while you prepare the Crabmeat mixture.

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Crab Imperial

  • Puff Pastry cups or Phyllo cups
  • 8 Ounces Crabmeat  (I used Lump Crabmeat – also called Backfin)
  • 2 Tablespoons Red Bell Pepper (diced)
  • 1 Shallot (diced)
  • 2 Tablespoons Hot Sauce
  • 3/4 Cup Cubed Bread (I used Brioche)
  • 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 Tablespoon Old Bay (any seafood seasoning will do)
  • Juice from 1 Lemon
  • Chopped Parsley
  • Black Pepper

 

I used pasteurized Crabmeat; it’s fresh (never frozen) but you could also use truly fresh Crabmeat (not pasteurized) if you can find it.  The pasteurized variety comes in a tin whereas the truly fresh Crabmeat usually comes packaged in a little plastic tub.  Drain the Crabmeat and check for shells or cartilage.

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Place the cubed bread in a small bowl (I just tore it into small pieces) and pour the heavy cream over it.  Allow it to sit while you prepare the rest of the recipe.  I used a very delicious Brioche that we carry in the store, but you can use any bread you have on hand.  Combine all other ingredients in a large mixing bowl, being careful not to break up the Crabmeat too much.  The soaked bread should be the last thing you add to the bowl, folding it in gently but thoroughly.

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At this point, you can refrigerate the crab mixture for use later or the next day… or you can spoon it into the cups and bake it right away.  Bake the filled cups in a preheated 300-degree oven for about 10-12 minutes.  Keep an eye on the Puff Pastry cups, if you’re using them, because they are already cooked and can get too brown pretty quickly.  Everything here is already cooked – you’re just heating it through and getting the slightest bit of color on the Crabmeat mixture.

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Everyone will love this – it’s like a little crab cake in a cup!  And now… for the beautiful pictures of our Crab Imperial from Libby Vision:

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Photo by LibbyVision.com

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Photo by LibbyVision.com

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Photo by LibbyVision.com

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Photo by LibbyVision.com

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Photo by LibbyVision.com

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Photo by LibbyVision.com

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Photo by LibbyVision.com

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Photo by LibbyVision.com

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Photo by LibbyVision.com

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Photo by LibbyVision.com

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Photo by LibbyVision.com

‘Cleaner’ Crab & Artichoke Dip

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Photo by LibbyVision.com

 

When I think New Year’s Eve, I think of shellfish!  Crab, Lobster, Shrimp… endless possibilities.  Shellfish just feels so classy and special.  We partnered up with the extremely talented Libby Vision to get this delicious Crab & Artichoke Dip recipe posted just in time for your New Year’s Eve gathering!  I made the dip and she worked her magic to create these beautiful images of it.

Who doesn’t like Spinach & Artichoke Dip… or Crab Dip?  A combination of the two is even better.  It’s so delicious, but I’m always disappointed when I see that the recipes often contain massive amounts of cream cheese and salty, MSG-laden dry soup mixes.  Here’s a version that contains Greek Yogurt instead of cream cheese – and I subbed vegetable bouillon for the dry soup mix.

 

Cleaner Crab & Artichoke Dip:

  • Two 14-ounce jars artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 8 Ounces Blue Claw Crabmeat (Lump Crabmeat)
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 6 Ounces Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Bouillon
  • 1/4 Cup Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Freshly Grated or Shaved Parmesan Cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons Light Mayonnaise (I used Lemonaise)
  • 2 Tablespoons Diced Pimiento Peppers
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Parsley
  • Black Pepper

 

Drain and chop the artichoke hearts (I used baby artichoke hearts and I prefer the jar to the can).  Drain the Crabmeat and check for shells and cartilage.  I used pasteurized Crabmeat; it’s fresh (never frozen) but you could also use a truly fresh (not pasteurized) if you can find it near you.  The pasteurized variety comes in a tin whereas the truly fresh Crabmeat usually comes packaged in a little plastic tub.

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Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

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At this point, you can refrigerate this for later or bake it right away.  (This is where I packed half of it up and sent it off with Libby to be styled and photographed!)

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When you’re ready to bake it, spread the dip into a shallow baking dish.  Place the dish into a preheated 375 degree oven and bake just until bubbling and lightly brown; the Crabmeat is already cooked.  Serve with Whole Wheat Pita Chips or your favorite crackers.  This recipe will be the star of the Super Bowl Party or holiday gathering, but is guilt-free enough to enjoy any day of the week.  This recipe is also gluten-free.  Enjoy!

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And now… for the rest of the photos from Libby Vision:

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Photo by LibbyVision.com

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Photo by LibbyVision.com

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Photo by LibbyVision.com

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Photo by LibbyVision.com

 

Southern-Style Peach Cobbler

Do you have any recipes that you DON’T need an actual recipe for?  This is one of mine.  It’s so simple and you can truly do this from memory with any fruit you have on-hand.  It’s a great go-to dessert to make for a crowd… and it’s even better with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

This is a ‘Cobbler’, not a ‘Crisp’.  It’s a batter that rises up and around the fruit as it bakes.  It’s easy to remember because it’s all ‘ones’.  One stick of butter, one cup of flour, one cup of milk, one cup of sugar, and one tablespoon baking powder.

Southern-Style Peach Cobbler

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 cups fresh or (drained) canned fruit

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Get a 13×9 baking dish or one close in size, put a stick of butter in it, and place it in the oven until the butter is melted.  While it is melting, mix the flour, sugar, milk, and baking powder together.  (I added a teaspoon of cinnamon and a teaspoon of vanilla to mine.)

Remove the dish from the oven.  Pour the batter right into the dish on top of the butter (do not stir).

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Take the fruit and drop it gently on top of the batter.  Just try to get it as evenly distributed as possible, but don’t stir it.  I used organic canned peach slices because that’s what we had in the pantry.  They were packed in juice and I drained the juice from them before I added them to the dish.

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Place this in the oven and let it cook until bubbling, brown, and no longer wiggly in the middle (a little wiggly is okay – runny is not).  It takes around 45 minutes depending on the size of your dish.  Serve warm.

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Haddock Supreme becomes Grouper au Gratin

First things first – please excuse the horrible quality of the photos in this post.  The urge to make something new struck me at the same exact time I realized my camera battery needs a charge.  Thank goodness for high-quality cell phone cameras.

If you’re from up north, you probably know what Haddock Supreme is.  It’s something I always order in every restaurant that serves it when I’m there.  Fresh fish baked with a delicious cheesy sauce and buttered breadcrumbs.  Fish and cheese?  I know, it sounds weird, but trust me.  So many of us eat fish because it’s a healthy alternative and we always grill or sauté it.  Covering it with cheese and buttered breadcrumbs sounds like a crime, but why should chicken have all the fun?  The only catch is that I’m a Florida girl and Haddock just isn’t my favorite, so I made this with Grouper and have renamed it Grouper au Gratin.  We had fresh Snowy Grouper in the store, so I took that home for this.  Snowy Grouper is delicious and they have really pretty white spots all over them, which is how they got their name.

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Grouper au Gratin – Serves 4

  • 2 pounds Grouper fillet
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • zest of one lemon
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup grated cheese (Cheddar, Gruyére, or anything you love)
  • 1 cup crushed crackers
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil

 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Start by spraying four small oven-safe ramekins, au gratin dishes, or small loaf pans with a nonstick cooking spray (I use coconut oil spray).  If you don’t have any of those things, you can make this in one large baking dish.  Cut the fish into 4 portions that will fit in the dishes and nestle the fish down into the dishes.  The way this fillet and the dishes were shaped, I ended up with 2 pieces in each dish… which is perfectly okay.  Gather up the rest of the ingredients you need because, once you start making the sauce, you won’t want to get too far from the stove.

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Next, you’ll make the sauce to go over the fish.  This is so easy.  Just melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the flour and whisk until smooth.  Cook this (whisk the entire time) for about two minutes or until it turns a light golden brown.  It will look bubbly.  Add in the milk, whisking the entire time.  Continue to whisk over medium heat until it begins to thicken.  Whisk in the Parmesan, Dijon, and Thyme.  (I like the Dijon because it’s made with Chardonnay and it just goes so nicely with seafood!)  Remove from heat.  I did not add any salt to this because the Parmesan, Cheddar, and cracker crumbs all had salt already.

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Ladle the sauce over the fish.  You want enough to cover the fish, but not so much that you’re going to overflow the dishes and have a disaster in your oven.

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Top with the shredded cheese.  Toss the cracker crumbs with the Olive Oil and a little more of the fresh Thyme and sprinkle this over the top of the cheese.  Place the small dishes on a large baking sheet to protect your oven from spills (it also makes it easier to get them in and out of the oven).

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Once they are browned and bubbling around the edges, they’re finished.  Mine took just shy of 30 minutes.  I was able to see the fish in a few places where it poked through the topping and could tell that it was opaque and fully cooked.

I put some fresh local corn in the oven to cook with the fish and we had some fresh pasta with pesto alongside it.  It made for a pretty easy meal.  (We cut our corn off the cob and bake it with a little bit of milk and butter – it’s the best!)

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We finished this off with a Southern-Style Peach Cobbler because, if you’re covering your fish in a creamy sauce and cheese… why not?  It was a giant hit with the whole family (and how could it not be?!)

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Grilled Mojo Mahi

We are experiencing an influx of Dolphin (Mahi) in our area!  Local fishermen are bringing in literal boatloads of fresh fish.  We like it best on the grill (of course, don’t forget that it makes amazing fish tacos).  Mojo Crillo is a delicious marinade made with sour oranges, onions, and garlic.  It’s a staple in our house.  It’s extremely inexpensive and it’s our favorite thing to put on chicken breast and flank steak before it hits the grill.  The citrus will tenderize even the toughest cuts of meat, so you need to be careful when you use it on fish and shrimp; it will actually ‘cook’ the fish.  I typically pour it over the dolphin about ten to fifteen minutes before we grill it.  Dolphin has a firm texture that can withstand a marinade, but most other types of fish should not be marinated for that long.

One of our little guys caught a nice dolphin on Saturday, so we dined on his favorite Mojo Mahi last night!

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After it was filleted, we cut it into pieces that are easy to manage on the grill and placed them in a baking dish.  I poured the marinade over the fish and let it marinate for about fifteen minutes while the grill heated up.

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When you grill fish, the most important things are having the grill hot and spraying it with come sort of cooking spray to keep the fish from sticking.  I grilled it for about five minutes on each side over medium-high heat.  It’s finished when it’s opaque throughout and it feels firm to the touch.

We nestled it on top of yellow rice and black beans.  We topped it with crumbled Queso Fresco, fresh cilantro, and lime juice.  Sweet plantains sautéed in butter and fresh local corn charred on the grill rounded out the meal.

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