Red Grouper with Crawfish Au Gratin Sauce… which really means, a rich and creamy white wine sauce.
I had all those amazing leftover crawfish from Tuesday and decided to make a little cream sauce out of the tails to go over some fresh fish. I was originally going to use Red Snapper, but the guy at the seafood market talked me into the red grouper filets, and they did not disappoint.
The basic recipe I used for the cream sauce is very similar to the one I use for my sauteed crab claws. It’s to die for. Seriously. You’ll want to drink this stuff. (But don’t. It would probably kill you. You’d definitely feel your arteries starting to clog immediately.) Try to resist. It’s a very easy sauce to make and I always make bread to go with it, because you’re gonna be looking for other stuff to dip in it, trust me.
I started with a little olive oil in my pan on med high heat, and added one good sized minced shallot. Once it started to get fragrant, I added a little minced garlic, then some diced sun dried tomatoes.
Once these are nice and fragrant, I add about 3/4 cup of white wine. Whatever I happen to be drinking. Any white wine. (Except for Moscato or Reisling. If you’re drinking those, we need to talk. Email me. It’s time for an intervention.) I’m partial to wines from Oregon or California but that’s me.
Use a spatula or wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan as it deglazes. Add a little chicken stock base. I use the Roasted Chicken “Better than Bouillon” base because it is amazing. About a tbs. Cut your heat down. Let this simmer and reduce by about half. Add a little crushed red pepper, dried thyme, dried basil, and chopped fresh parsley. Now for the butter. Do yourselves a favor people, and buy good quality butter. It’s worth it. I like fresh farm butter but whatever you can find, just make sure it’s unsalted. This dish will be plenty salty without adding any salt to it.
Cut your heat down to low. Add your cold butter in small squares and allow to melt into sauce, without stirring. Every now and then, I give the pan a shake but that’s it. Next add the cream. Then the fresh grated Parmesan cheese. Because my crawfish were already cooked, I added them last. I just wanted them to warm up, not cook any more.
Serve this sauce over your pan seared fish. I plated this on a little bed of arugula that I had lightly tossed in a vinaigrette, and served it with some roasted asparagus and potatoes. Side note on the potatoes- I used my leftover boiled fingerling potatoes from my crawfish boil and put them on a foil lined cookie sheet. I smashed them and put a little melted butter with garlic on top and baked them at 425 for about 15 minutes. Easy and a good way to reinvent my potatoes from the other night.
Oh, and I grated a little fresh parm on top of them too because, why not?
Give this sauce a try. Then try it with blue crab claws. The recipe is the same, just substitute the crab claws for the crawfish tails. Sometimes with the crab claws, when it’s done, I add some fresh grated Parmesan cheese on top and pop the pan in the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese and the sauce will thicken just a bit. Don’t forget the bread. And when you’re tempted to drink the sauce, drink the rest of your wine instead. That’s how I do it.
Red Grouper with Crawfish Au Gratin Sauce
1 tbs olive oil
2 large fresh fish filets, such as snapper or grouper, cut into serving size pieces
1 lb crawfish tails, cooked
1 minced shallot
2 minced garlic cloves
2 tbs diced sun dried tomatoes
3/4 c white wine
1 tbs chicken stock base
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
a pinch of crushed red pepper, to your taste
1 tbs fresh parsley, roughly chopped
8 oz unsalted butter, cut into squares
2 oz unsalted butter, for the fish
1 c heavy cream
4 oz fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Heat olive oil in heavy sauce pan over med high heat. Add minced shallot. Cook until it becomes fragrant, a couple of minutes. Add garlic. Stir. After a minute, add sun dried tomatoes. Stir. Cook 2 minutes. When it’s starting to brown, add wine and cut heat down to med low. Scrape the bottom of the pan while stirring. Add the chicken base and the seasoning. Bring sauce to a simmer and reduce. Allow sauce to simmer until reduced by about half. Slowly, add the 8 oz of butter, one pat at a time, without stirring. Allow to melt before adding another pat. Shake the pan a little to incorporate. Once butter is fully incorporated add the cream. Stir. Simmer. Add parmesan cheese. After the cheese is fully incorporated, add crawfish and allow sauce to heat through, without coming to a simmer.
While sauce is simmering, heat another pan to med high heat. Pat dry fish filets and season on both sides with a blackening or cajun seasoning of your choice. Add 2 oz of butter to pan. Once butter is melted, add fish filets to pan, without crowding them. Allow them to cook approx 5- 7 minutes depending on the thickness of the filets. You want them to form a nice crust on the bottom before you turn them. Flip fish over and add another 2 oz of butter, a fresh squeezed lemon slice if you have it and fresh thyme to pan. Use the melted butter in the pan to continuously baste fish. After another 5 minutes or when fish has a nice golden crust on bottom, remove from pan and serve immediately. Once the fish has been plated, cover in crawfish au gratin sauce and top with a little bit more grated Parmesan cheese.