What’s For Dinner?
Grouper Over Grits Florentine - from Chef Henry's Louisiana Grill
(First star is lowest, fourth star is highest)
From the Menu of . . . Chef Henry's Louisiana Grill
4835 S. Main St., Acworth
Q: I recently had probably one of the five best dishes of my life at a restaurant in Acworth owned by a Louisiana chef -- Chef Henry's Louisiana Grill. The dish was Grouper Over Grits Florentine with the chef's Oh-la-la sauce over the entree. This dish is truly to die for -- and, as we say in Louisiana, getting there is half the fun!
- Emily Hubbard, Atlanta
A: Chef-owner Henry Chandler says this dish is featured frequently as a special. Its preparation makes you appreciate the magic of a restaurant kitchen, as several things need to cook simultaneously. You'll need to be organized to keep things moving.
Hands on time: 20 minutes Total time: 20 minutes Serves: 6
FOR THE GROUPER:
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning or other creole seasoning
2 pounds grouper (1-inch thick), cut into 6 pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional to coat
1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges, for garnish
6 sprigs fresh thyme, for garnish
FOR THE GRITS:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon yellow onion, finely diced
1 tablespoon sweet red pepper, finely diced
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 to 2 teaspoons Tabasco (depending on preference for heat)
1 teaspoon Tony Chachere's More Spice Seasoning or other hot creole seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup quick grits
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
FOR THE FLORENTINE SAUCE:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, finely diced
1 sprig fresh thyme
1/2 cup white wine
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon Tony Chachere's Seasoning or other creole seasoning
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 (10-ounce) bag fresh spinach, thick stems removed and coarsely chopped
To prepare the grits: In a 2-quart nonstick saucepan over medium heat, add oil. Saute onions, pepper and garlic for 5 minutes. Add milk and heavy cream and bring to a brisk boil. Add Tabasco, hot creole seasoning, salt and pepper. Whisk well to mix (about 30 seconds). Whisk in grits and turn heat to low. Cover and cook 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in cheese. (If grits appear too thick, add warm milk, a tablespoon at a time.) Cover, turn off heat, but keep warm on stove.
To prepare the sauce: In a 1-quart, preferably nonstick saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil. Saute shallot for 3 minutes. Add thyme and white wine, bring to a boil, and reduce by half. Add heavy cream and half-and-half. Bring to slow boil. Add garlic, onion, seasoning and pepper. Reduce by one-third. Add spinach, and cook 2 minutes. Turn off heat but keep warm on stove. Discard thyme sprig.
In a large, preferably nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add remaining 2 tablespoons oil and cook fish until golden brown on bottom, about 4 minutes. Turn and cook 4 minutes more on other side. If fish is more than 1-inch thick, finish in 450 degree oven for additional 5 minutes.
To serve, place a large scoop of grits in center of warm plate. Place (don't press) grouper into center of grits. Ladle sauce over grouper and grits. Garnish with thin wedge of lemon and sprig of fresh thyme.