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Black Grouper

Enjoy grouper in this spicy preparation featuring lemon juice, garlic, pink peppercorns and cayenne, nestled in a tangy, flavorful lemon sauce. A native tropical fish, the black grouper can be found near Caribbean coral reefs. Flambéed grilled plantains sweetened with brown sugar make a delicious Caribbean accompaniment.

Black Grouper


Black Grouper:

  • 1¼ C (300 g) shallots, finely sliced
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • ¾ C (170 ml) olive oil, divided
  • 1½ tsp (15 g) freshly ground pink peppercorns
  • Salt and cayenne to taste
  • 10 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 10 6-oz (170-g) grouper fillets
  • Freshly ground white pepper to taste
  • 3 scallions, finely sliced
  • 3 lemons, sliced crosswise
  • 1 recipe Grilled Plantains
  • 1 recipe Lemon Butter Sauce

Grilled Plantains:

  • 2¼ lb (1 kg) plantains, nearly ripe
  • ½ C (100 ml) olive oil
  • 4½ T (65 g) butter
  • 2½ T (35 g) brown sugar
  • 2½ T (35 g) lemon juice
  • ¼ C (50 ml) dark rum
  • ¼ C (35 g) slivered blanched almonds, toasted

Lemon Butter Sauce::

  • ¾ C (165 ml) white wine
  • 2 T (30 g) finely chopped shallot
  • 1¼ C (300 ml) heavy cream
  • ⅔ C (150 g) cold butter, diced
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 T (5 g) finely chopped chives
  • 2 T (5 g) finely chopped dill
  • Cayenne and salt to taste


  • ¼ C (10 g) chervil leaves


Grouper: Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C). Cut 10 squares of parchment paper about 3 times as large as fillets. In a bowl, combine shallots, lemon juice and olive oil; add pink peppercorns, salt and cayenne; let stand 5 minutes. Spread shallot mixture over center of each parchment piece; add garlic; top with fillet; season to taste with additional salt and white pepper. Arrange scallions and lemon slices on top. Fold and roll paper to seal; transfer to baking sheet; bake 10-12 minutes or until cooked through.

Plantains: Peel half the plantains; cut into ¾ inch (2 cm) thick slices, brush with olive oil and grill, making checkered grill marks on both sides. Transfer to a baking sheet; keep warm in a 300°F (150°C) oven. Peel and dice remaining plantains. Place butter in a large skillet, add fruit and cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently; add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Stir in lemon juice; add rum; flambé. Stir in almonds. Remove from heat; set aside (flames go out once alcohol has burned off).

Sauce: Simmer wine and shallot over medium until almost all liquid has reduced. Stir in cream; simmer until thickened. Reduce to low; add butter a few pieces at a time, whisking to incorporate after each addition. Remove from heat, continuing to whisk until butter is fully incorporated; stir in lemon juice, zest, chives and dill. Season with cayenne and salt. Serve hot.

Assembly: Spoon Lemon Butter Sauce onto plates. Place diced plantains on sauce and top with grouper. Garnish with slices of grilled plantains and chervil. Serve immediately.

  • Prep time: 30 minutes.
  • Cook time: 25 minutes.
  • Makes 10 servings.