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Grill Blackened Grouper

Grilling season — and grouper season — are upon us once again. And if there are two things that go together, it’s grouper and grills. Sure you could slather a fillet with butter an lemon and toss it on the rack, but this blackened recipe is just too good not to. The grill provides the heat and a cast iron skillet provides a hot, even cooking surface that will keep the grouper moist and tender. The charred lemons are the final flourish that give the perfect kick to the presentation.


1⁄4 cup smoked paprika

2 tablespoons dried thyme

2 teaspoons onion powder

11⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt

11⁄2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1⁄2 teaspoon dry mustard

1⁄2 teaspoon ground red pepper

1⁄2 cup butter, melted

2 pounds grouper fillets

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 lemons, halved crosswise


Preheat grill to high heat (400° to 450°). Preheat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet on grill 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together paprika, thyme, onion powder, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, mustard, and red pepper. Pour melted butter in a shallow dish. Dip each fillet in butter, turning to coat. Sprinkle both sides of fillets with spice mixture; pat gently to coat.

Add olive oil to skillet (oil should smoke); place fish in skillet. Cook, covered, until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn, and cook, covered, until fish flakes easily with a fork, 3 to 4 minutes more. Carefully remove skillet from grill.

Place lemons cut side down on grill. Cook, covered, until charred, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve with fish.