About grouper cheeks with orange cream sauce
This grouper cheeks recipe is a rich but healthy whole food entree. It is a simple recipe that takes about twenty minutes to prepare. The combination of high-protein grouper cheeks with mushrooms, bell peppers, grass-fed butter and cream and orange zest provides a lot of nutrients.
When available, grouper cheeks often sell for half the price of larger grouper fillets and are a very good deal. I highly recommend searching out black or red grouper cheeks to help relieve the current over-fishing problems associated with other grouper species. Black and red grouper populations are growing thanks to stricter fishing regulations and would seem to be a fully sustainable fishery.
Ingredients for this recipe
Approximately 1 pound fresh grouper cheeks 3 ounces maitake mushrooms
3 ounces oyster mushrooms 1 ounce dry vermouth
1 cup grass-fed heavy cream sea salt and black pepper to taste
zest from 1 large orange 1 tablespoon minced fresh turmeric root
1/2 red bell pepper and 1/2 yellow bell pepper, 1/2-inch diced 3 tablespoons grass-fed butter
Making grouper cheeks with orange cream sauce
1. Check the grouper cheeks for bits of bone and skin, rinse under cold water and dry on a clean towel or paper towels.
2. Break the maitake and oyster mushrooms apart by hand into single mushrooms.
3. Dice the bell peppers.
4. Zest the orange and mince the turmeric root(note that I do not usually peel turmeric root).
5. Melt the butter in a heavy skillet large enough to hold all ingredients over medium heat.
6. Season the grouper cheeks lightly with salt and pepper and saute until just done. Remove the grouper cheeks from the skillet and set aside.
7. Add the mushrooms, peppers, turmeric root and orange zest to the skillet and cook until just tender.
8. Add the vermouth and reduce until almost dry.
9. Add the heavy cream and reduce until thickened to the desired sauce consistency.
10. Add the grouper cheeks and stir gently until just heated through.
11. Serve with your favorite vegetable and/or other side.
Please feel free to use your favorite combination of mushrooms. Sliced portabellas, whole baby crimini mushrooms, shiitakes and beech mushrooms will all impart slightly different flavors and textures to this orange sauce. I usually use whatever mushrooms I have on hand or are available at the store.
For different flavor profiles, try a little dried red or fresh green chile pepper. One or two whole dried or fresh Thai chile peppers can make this orange cream sauce quite spicy. Fresh ginger also works well, in addition to or instead of the fresh turmeric root. Combinations of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove take things in a totally different direction.
Olive oil and coconut milk both make good substitutes for the dairy in this recipe. For a vegan version, this sauce is pretty good over roasted mixed root vegetables, steamed cauliflower and broccoli or sauteed collard greens and kale.