Mediterranean-Style Olive Oil-Poached Grouper

Inch-thick filets of fresh grouper are gently poached at exactly 120 degrees in top quality Spanish olive oil, thinly-sliced Meyer lemon, fresh Italian parsley and imported caper berries.  Freshly-ground black pepper and crunchy sea salt top off this Mediterranean-inspired, velvet-textured dish..

Deceptively simple, the key to success in poaching fish this way lies in ensuring that the olive oil is kept at a constant temperature throughout the entire process (about 15 minutes to pre-heat, and another 10-15 minutes to cook over low heat).  Use an instant-read thermometer to keep the temperature as close to 120 degrees as you can;  if the oil is too hot the fish will be tough and the flavors will lose their delicate balance.

“…Groupers, widely distributed in warm seas, are characteristically large-mouthed, rather heavy-bodied fishes that tend to remain in discrete areas. Some are very large fishes, attaining a length and weight of about 2 metres (6 feet) and 225 kilograms (500 pounds)—in some instances reportedly much more. Groupers are often dully coloured in greens or browns, but a number are brighter, more boldly patterned fishes. Some, such as the Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus), are noted for their ability to change from one to any of a number of other colour patterns. Also, in many species, such as the blackfin and yellowfin groupers (Mycteroperca bonaci and M. venenosa), individuals inhabiting deeper waters are much redder than those living near shore. Groupers are protogynous hermaphrodites; that is, they first function as females and later transform into males. Groupers are prime food fishes and also provide sport for anglers and spearfishers…”  –Encyclopedia Britannica

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