Snapper & Goat Cheese Grits

Blackened Mississippi Gulf Snapper and creamy goat cheese grits topped with melted leeks and wild mushrooms.


TIME: 60 minutes

SERVES: 4

SEASON: spring, summer, fall, winter

METHOD: Sauté


INGREDIENTS:

– Snapper: 

• 4 6-oz fillets Mississippi Gulf Red Snapper

• 2 tbsp paprika

• 2 tsp cayenne pepper

• 1 tsp ground white pepper

• 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

• 1 tbsp salt

• 2 tsp onion powder

• 2 tsp garlic powder

• 1 tsp dried thyme

• 1 tsp dried oregano

• 12 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

– Leeks

• 6 tbsp butter, cut into pieces

• 8 oz wild mushrooms (porcini, shiitake, oyster, etc.), thinly sliced

• 3 leeks, chopped, white and pale green parts only (about 4 cups)

• 1/2 bunch chives, finely chopped

• salt, to taste

• fresh cracked pepper, to taste

– Grits

• 1 1/2 cups water

• 1/2 cup heavy cream

• 1/2 cup stone-ground grits

• 1 tbsp butter

• 2 oz soft goat cheese (chèvre)

• 1/4 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped

• 2 leaves fresh basil, thinly cut

• salt, to taste

• fresh cracked pepper, to taste


DIRECTIONS: 

1. Mix paprika, cayenne, white and black peppers, onion and garlic powders, thyme, oregano and salt.

2. Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat for 10 minutes.

3. Dip Mississippi Gulf Red Snapper in melted butter and sprinkle each fillet generously on both sides with seasoning mixture.

4. Place fish fillets in hot skillet.

5. Pour 1 tablespoon butter over each fillet and cook until blackened, 3 to 5 minutes, then turn fish.

6. Pour 1 more tablespoon butter over each fillet and cook about 2 minutes, or until just cooked through.

7. Remove from pan and reserve warm.

8. For the leeks, melt butter in skillet over medium heat; do not brown. Then add mushrooms.

9. Season with salt and pepper.

10. When mushrooms are tender, add leeks and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes.

11. Remove from heat and add chives.

12. Lastly, prepare the grits by bringing water, cream and salt to a boil over medium-high heat.

13. Slowly add grits, stirring constantly until smooth.

14. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook until smooth, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

15. To finish, add goat cheese, basil and pepper, and stir well to combine.

Serving Suggestion: Spoon grits into center of plate, place fish on top and finish with leeks and mushrooms. Garnish with additional fresh herbs.

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