Recipe: Pan Seared Florida Grouper with Smoked Gouda Grits and Tomato-Bacon Gravy

Yield 4 Servings


  • 4 five to seven ounce portions of Florida grouper
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup grits, coarse ground
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup smoked Gouda cheese, cubed
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • 1.4 cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
  • 1 cup thick cut bacon, chopped small
  • 2 large Florida tomatoes, diced small
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, chopped fine
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 4 scallions, sliced thin for garnish


  1. In a medium sized sauce pot, add 2 cups vegetable stock and one cup of milk. Bring ingredients to a simmer over medium heat.
  2. Add grits and butter and let cook according to the directions on the package of grits.
  3. When the grits are cooked, add the smoked Gouda cheese and stir to combine. Taste grits and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  4. If the grits seem too thick, add a small amount of vegetable stock or milk until the desired consistency is reached. Turn the temperature to low until the dish is ready to be plated.
  5. Pre heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to the preheated pan.
  6. Lightly season the grouper fillets with salt, pepper, and fresh parsley.
  7. Carefully place the seasoned fillets top side down in the sauté pan. Cook each fillet for around 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and completely cooked throughout the thickest part of the fillet.
  8. Remove the cooked fillets from the pan and add the chopped bacon. Cook the bacon until just crispy, and add the tomatoes and garlic. Cook the tomato mixture until they start to wilt and release their juices.
  9. Add the heavy cream, lemon juice and 1/2 cup vegetable stock. Quickly bring ingredients to a boil and reduce heat.
  10. Taste tomato gravy and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  11. Serve the grouper over a bed of grits and top with the tomato gravy. Garnish with the thin sliced scallions.

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