Grouper is easily my favorite fish. It’s not too “fishy” and it’s not too bland. It’s a perfect balance and the fillets are nice and thick so it’s easy to prepare it a variety of ways. Fried is the way to go if you really want to splurge, but grilled, pan-seared or blackened are all great ways to prepare this fish as well. I recently picked up a Lodge Cast Iron Griddle (something I’ve been wanting for quite some time now…), so since my awesome neighbors had just hooked me up with a couple fresh slabs of grouper they had just caught off the west coast of Florida, the first thing that came to mind was cooking up some Blackened Grouper Phillies! My buddy Mike also hooked me up with his homemade remoulade sauce recipe which went perfectly with these tasty sammies!
This recipe is a bit involved if you make your own homemade remoulade sauce and blackening seasoning like I did (recipes below), but if you want to save some time just buy some of both. Here’s all ya have to do:
- Make the remoulade sauce first so you can set it in the fridge and let it thicken up a bit (you can do this a day or two in advance if you want)
- Mix up the ingredients for the blackening seasoning (this too can be made in advance to save some time)
- Lightly coat the insides of your hoagie rolls with some mayo and set aside
- Slice up some fresh green bell pepper and onion (I like to use sweet Vidalia onions) then toss them in some grape seed oil and fresh ground black pepper
- Place a cast iron griddle on your grill and preheat it to somewhere around 400°-425° (get much hotter than that and the outsides of thick fish fillets will burn while the inside will still be raw…)
- While your grill and cast iron griddle is heating up, dust all sides of your skinless grouper fillets with the blackening seasoning
- Once your grill is preheated, give it a good coat of oil (I like grade seed oil b/c of it’s high flash point), wait just a couple of minutes then toss your peppers and onions on and cook until nice and caramelized then pull them and set aside.
- Add a bit more oil if needed then toss on your grouper. Watch the grouper very closely and check the internal temperature every couple of minutes with a fast-read high-accuracy food thermometer. You want to cook the fish to an internal temperature of about 145°. Make sure to flip the fillets 1/2 way through the cook. The total time of blackening these fillets on a cast iron griddle is 4-5 minutes, so again, don’t walk away. Once you hit 145°’ish….pull and set aside.
- Toss your hoagie rolls on and let them get a nice crispy, golden brown, then pull.
- OK, now, back in the kitchen, set your oven to broil.
- Build out your Phillies with the grouper, onions, peppers, remoulade sauce, then cover with some provolone cheese.
- Toss in the broiler for no more than 1 1/2 – 2 minutes. Watch very closely so you don’t burn the bread. The cheese will melt very quickly.
- Let cool for just a minute or so, serve and enjoy!!!
As usual, pics and video from start to finish below!
Remoulade Sauce Recipe
1 cup mayo
Juice from 1 lemon
2 Tbsp sweet chili sauce
1 Tbsp hot sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Whisk together and set in the fridge for at least 30 min to allow it to thicken up a bit.
Blackening Seasoning Recipe
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground thyme
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp onion powder
3 Tbsp paprika
Whisk together and set aside until it’s time to dust the grouper.