Toasted Almond-Encrusted Grouper with Warm Caribbean Pineapple Relish Recipe

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Florida Keys & Key West Chef's Table: Extraordinary Recipes from the Conch Republic

  • Yield: 4 Servings


For the sweet potatoes
  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • ½ cup Vermont maple syrup
For the pineapple relish
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Jamaican jerk seasoning
  • ½ cup sun-dried cranberries
  • 1 fresh ripe pineapple, peeled and cut into uniform bite size squares
For the grouper
  • 1 cup sliced almonds, divided
  • 2 cups panko crumbs
  • 0.33 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 (9-ounce) fillets fresh local black grouper (or other flakey, white-fleshed fish)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 4 lemon wedges
How to Make It
    To prepare the sweet potatoes
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake potatoes for 50 minutes or until soft. Peel off skins and place potatoes in a large bowl. Add butter, salt, pepper, vinegar, and syrup and mash until smooth.
  2. To make the pineapple relish
  3. Place butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add brown sugar and whisk until sugar has dissolved and mixture is smooth. Add jerk seasoning, cranberries, and pineapple and simmer for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover, and keep sauce warm until needed.
  4. To prepare the grouper
  5. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread ½ cup sliced almonds on a baking sheet and place in oven for 5 minutes, until almonds are golden brown. (Watch carefully so they don’t burn.) Remove almonds from oven and set aside.
  6. Mix panko crumbs, remaining ½ cup almonds, and parsley in a medium bowl. Place crumb mixture on a dinner plate. Season the grouper fillets with salt and pepper. Press fillets into the panko mixture until well coated on both sides.
  7. Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add grouper fillets and sauté for 3 minutes per side (depending upon thickness) until cooked through.
  8. To assemble
  9. Mound one-quarter of the mashed sweet potatoes in the center of each dinner plate. Place a sautéed grouper fillet atop each sweet potato mound. Top each with ½ cup warm pineapple relish and sprinkle with toasted almonds. Garnish each serving with a lemon wedge.

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