"Quick" is the operative word: Most of the recipes for grouper take 45 minutes or less to prepare.
Grouper can be grilled, sauteed, fried, stir-fried, broiled, roasted or baked, says the author. It's a white-fleshed fish, mild, moist and slightly sweet - just the kind of not-too-fishy fish that can win over people who shy away from more strongly flavored types.
Grouper is found in temperate waters from the Mid-Atlantic through the Gulf of Mexico. Lowcountry fishermen have been catching grouper offshore recently, but you can find it on land, too - if not in your grocery store, then at a seafood shop.
Revsin says good grouper will have firm, somewhat satiny flesh, translucent white to pale pink color, and with "a clean, ocean aroma." Avoid fish with flesh that's bruised, discoloring, soft or mushy, as well as fish that smells like ammonia, she says.
The thickness of the fillets is important: They should be no more than ¾ inch to 1 inch thick, says Revsin. When she was a restaurant chef in New York, she often got fillets that were more than 1 inch thick, and she noticed then that the edges curled up as they cooked.
"If you see fillets that are more than ¾ inch in thickness, they've been cut from a very large fish, and when cooked they usually become coarse and tough," she says. "They may be fine for a slow-braised fish dinner, but they'll turn on you if you approach them with short-cooking methods." Sauteed, grilled or quickly broiled, thick fillets can turn into gnarled, twisted shapes, says Revsin. "That satisfying chewiness, which I like, turns into a rubberiness, which I don't like," she says.
*Chef Leslie Revsin, from Bronxville, NY. Worked restaurants in New York.
Latest book has recipes for grouper and all her other fish favorites, "Great Fish, Quick" (Doubleday, $27½).
* Revsin was the first female chef at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. She opened her own place, Restaurant Leslie, in 1977, and since then has served as executive chef at the Bridge Cafe, One Fifth Avenue and Argenteuil in New York City. She also has been a chef at the Inn at Pound Ridge in Westchester, N.Y.
see: Broiled Grouper With Grain Mustard-Pineapple Vinaigrette; Grilled Grouper With Ancho Chile Butter; Sauteed Grouper With Spicy Black Beans; Sauteed Grouper With Tropical Fruit Salsa.
Reviewed by Ann Burger on May 6, 1998; Edited by Hanneman; converted by MC_Buster.
Recipe by: Book Review by ANN BURGER, 05/06/98 Posted to MC-Recipe Digest by Kitpath on May 06, 1998