This cornmeal-crusted snapper recipe is adapted from Brotula’s Seafood House and Steamer in Destin, Florida.
Photo courtesy of Brotula’s Seafood House and Steamer/Proffit PR
Cornmeal-Crusted Snapper with Spinach, Pepper Jack Grits, and Bacon Bourbon Cream Sauce
Makes 4 servings
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- 3 cups milk
- 1 cup chicken stock
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup old-fashioned grits
- ½ (8-ounce) package Monterey Jack cheese with peppers, shredded
- 1/4 pound thick-cut bacon, cut into cubes
- 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup bourbon
- 1 bay leaf
- 1½ teaspoons black peppercorns
- 1/2 lemon
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 4 slices bacon, chopped
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 (16-ounce) package fresh baby spinach
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup plain cornmeal
- ¼ cup Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning
- 4 (8-ounce) skinless snapper fillets
- 2 tablespoons butter
- For grits: In a large saucepan, bring milk, chicken stock, butter, salt, and pepper to boil over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk in grits, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, whisking frequently, until thickened and tender, about 20 minutes. Slowly whisk in cheese until melted. Keep warm over low heat.
- Preheat oven 350˚. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
- For sauce: On prepared pan, toss together bacon and brown sugar; arrange in a single layer. Bake until crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Cook shallot and garlic until translucent, about 2 minutes. Carefully add bourbon, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Add juice of half a lemon and lemon itself to pan. Stir in cream, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until liquid is thickened and reduced by half. Gradually whisk in butter until melted. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a small saucepan, and keep warm over low heat. Stir in cooked bacon just before serving.
- For spinach: In a large skillet, cook bacon, shallots, and garlic over medium heat until crisp. Add spinach, salt, and pepper, and cook just until wilted, about 1 minute. Keep warm over low heat.
- For fish: In a shallow dish, whisk together cornmeal and Creole seasoning. Dredge snapper in cornmeal mixture, gently shaking off excess. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add fish; cook until golden brown on bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn, and cook until golden brown on bottom and fish flakes easily with a fork, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve fish immediately with grits, spinach, and sauce.
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