2 teaspoons fennel seed
1 teaspoon dill weed
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 pounds grouper fillets (or red snapper or tilapia)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons dry white wine
Vanilla Beurre Blanc (recipe follows)
In small skillet, toast fennel seeds over medium heat 1 to 2 minutes or until aromatic. Remove from skillet. Finely crush toasted seeds using a mortar and pestle, a spice mill, a clean coffee grinder, or a rolling pin. Blend with dill, thyme, salt, and pepper.
Rub spice mixture evenly on both sides of grouper fillets. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil; set aside.
In large nonstick skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add fillets; saute 4 to 5 minutes per side or until done and lightly browned. Add white wine to pan; cook 1 minute. Remove grouper to serving plate. Serve with Vanilla Beurre Blanc.
Yield: 6 servings
Vanilla Beurre Blanc
1 stick unsalted butter, cold and cut in tablespoons
2 large shallots, finely chopped
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar, or white wine vinegar
4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper, optional
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a 2-quart saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add shallots; saute 5 minutes until soft. Add wine, vinegar, vanilla, red pepper, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 15 minutes.
Gradually whisk in butter 1 tablespoon at a time. The butter must melt gradually to form a creamy sauce. If necessary, move pan off the heat to keep it from getting too hot. Continue whisking in the butter until well blended. If desired, strain through a fine sieve and hold warm until ready to serve with grouper.
Yield: 6 servings