Pan Seared Grouper With Butter and Balsamic Sauce

The smooth sweetness of butter combined with the bite of balsamic vinegar sets off the naturally mild taste of grouper. The most important part of this recipe is what comes first — the grouper. You can buy grouper a lot of places, but what you don’t often get is fresh grouper. And that makes all the difference. We whipped this up with some fresh Apalachicola gag grouper from the Panhandle and delicious is an understatement.

Gag grouper is gray in color when caught and is often confused with black grouper. While they can be found in the Atlantic as far south as Brazil, gag grouper spawn off the west coast of Florida — which makes Apalachicola a prime area for these mild and flaky fish. They can get big — nearly five feet long and 300 pounds —  and it takes some muscle to crank one up from the bottom. The reward, however, is gastronomical. Even the pickiest eater in your school will love this recipe. Serve with some Basmati rice and your favorite veggie. It’s quick, easy and outstanding!

4 (4- to 6-oz.) fresh grouper fillets

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon minced shallot

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice


Preheat oven to 425ª F. Pat fish dry with paper towels, and let stand at room temperature 10 minutes. Sprinkle fillets with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully place fillets, top side down, in hot oil. Cook 3 to 4 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Transfer skillet to oven.

Bake at 420ª F for 4 to 5 minutes or until fish is opaque. Remove skillet from oven, and place fish, seared side up, on a platter.

Wipe skillet clean. Cook butter in skillet over medium heat 2 to 2 1/2 minutes or until butter begins to turn golden brown. Pour butter into a small bowl. Whisk in vinegar, shallot, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

SEARING IS BEST FOR: Nearly any type of fish, but is easiest with firm fillets that are at least 1 1/2 inches thick, such as grouper, halibut, sea bass, and striped bass.

Make sure the pan is hot before adding fish. Press very lightly with a spatula while cooking for even searing.

Lighthouse Seafood is a family business,
owned and operated by Tim, Heather and Danny O’Leary.
They have supplied Central Florida restaurants and residents
with prime seafood for more than a decade.
Their commitment is to always have
only the freshest seafood for your table.

101 N. Country Club Rd.
Lake Mary, FL 32746

8780 E CR 466
The Villages, FL 32162