Ready to go from hungry to lip-smacking satisfied in roughly 15 minutes? This pan seared grouper with basil brown butter sauce offers restaurant-quality taste with very little prep and cook time. Perfect for midweek dinner guests or whenever you just gotta have something a little gourmet TODAY.
Yep, Brown Butter Sauce in a Cast Iron Skillet
Have you ever broken all of the rules at something, yet in the end, everything came out better than it would have if you would have simply colored in-between the lines??? Well, this happened to me with this brown butter sauce the other day. Yep and yay!!
I had a pound of thin grouper fillets, my beloved cast iron skillet, and a stick of cold butter in my hand. I wanted a rich sauce, perfectly seared grouper, something crunchy, a little something green and earthy, and my usual heavy-handed SP&C spice mixture. And I wanted it as right now as I could get it.
So, I threw caution to the wind, seasoned up the fish, and started a brown butter sauce in my cast iron skillet. I know, I know, you’re supposed to make brown butter sauce in a light-colored skillet so that you can gauge its progression throughout the cooking process, to ensure that it doesn’t burn. Well, I love, love, love to cook. But, I’ve never been one to follow culinary rules much, so breaking this one was a no-brainer. I mean, I all but sleep with my cast iron cookware, so trading one in, even for one meal, is almost too much for me to bear. Yep. Not happening over here…Nope.
Once the skillet got hot, I added the whole stick of cold butter. After a few minutes, the melting butter started to smoke, so I threw in some fresh chopped basil, citrus zest, and almonds. Then, I carefully laid the three grouper fillets in the skillet, and patiently waited while they cooked for 4 minutes on each side.
To my delight, the brown butter sauce turned out perfect. The nutty, buttery sauce infused itself into the nuts and fish wonderfully. So, in the end it all worked out great. And I got to use my cast iron skillet after all. Sometimes you just have to break old rules to find your own new great way of doing things. I’m happy that I stood beside my cast iron skillet for this pan-seared grouper with basil brown butter sauce. Yep. Yum and yay for cast iron gourmet…
- Season both sides of grouper fish fillets to taste with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat.
- When heated, melt the stick of butter in the skillet.
- As soon as the butter starts to smoke, stir the basil into the melted butter. Cook for about 15 seconds, or until you smell the aroma from the basil radiating from the butter.
- Add the almonds, paprika, lemon zest, and lime zest.
- Place seasoned grouper fillets into the skillet.
- Cook the fillets for 4 minutes on each side. While fillets are searing, stir the almonds occasionally to ensure that they do not stick to the skillet and burn.
- Remove from heat. Serve immediately.
If you use thick grouper fillets, the brown butter could burn during the above cooking process. Therefore, if you do use thick grouper fillets, sear the fillets in one skillet for about 6 minutes per side, and make the sauce in another skillet. Then, cover the fillets with the sauce just before serving.