Blackened Gulf Grouper with Creole Sauce

Wild-caught grouper from the Gulf of Mexico is dipped in melted butter mixed with herbs and spices (smoked paprika, sea salt, freshly-ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, caraway, dill, fresh bay, mace and cardamom), then seared in a white ash-hot cast iron skillet until opaque in the middle and slightly charred on the edges (about 2 minutes per side).  Served over a creole sauce of celery, onions, green peppers, garlic, fresh tomatoes and fresh basil, oregano and thyme..

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“The word ‘grouper’ comes from the word for the fish, most widely believed to be from the Portuguese name, garoupa.  The origin of this name in Portuguese is believed to be from an indigenous South American language.

The grouper’s  mouth and gills form a powerful system that sucks their prey in from a distance.  They also use their mouth to dig into sand to form their shelters under big rocks, jetting it out through their gills.  Their gill muscles are so powerful that it is nearly impossible to pull them out of a cave if they feel attacked and extend those muscles to lock themselves in.

There is some research indicating that roving coral groupers (Plectropomus pessuliferus) sometimes cooperate with giant morays in hunting.” –Wikipedia