Blackened Snapper over Creamy White Cheddar Bacon Grits
I’m not very good at following recipes. Part of the reason is that I’m creative and I like to come up with my own unique ideas for dishes. The other half of it is that I’m frugal. I refuse to run to the grocery store and buy ingredients that I’m likely only going to cook with once (have you seen how much spices cost these days!).
My favorite thing to do is to look at three or four recipes, get an idea for the dish I’d like to create and what might go into making that dish, and then take it from there- using the ingredients that I have lying around the house.
On occasion, I will make some downright awful food, but more often than not, I’ll create a dish that my wife and I deem one of our new favorites. The Blackened Mangrove Snapper over Creamy Sharp White Cheddar and Bacon Grits was one of these dishes.
Feel free to take this dish to the next level by adding shrimp or scallions to the grits and/or by drizzling a Louisiana Cajun crawdad sauce over the fish. That would go excellent with this!
Blackened Mangrove Snapper
- ¼ stick unsalted butter
- Bacon grease
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 to 6 mangrove snapper fillets (depending on the size)
- Cayenne Pepper
- Garlic Powder
- Cajun Seasoning
Creamy White Cheddar Bacon Grits
- ½ stick unsalted butter
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 ½ cups water
- 4 to 6 strips of bacon
- 2 cups quick grits
- 4 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese (shredded or thinly sliced)
- Salt (to taste)
- Pepper (to taste)
- Paprika (to taste)
Cook bacon in a non-stick frying pan until crispy brown and set the remaining grease aside. Bring water and heavy cream to a boil. Lower heat to medium low and add the grits, stirring often. Cook for ten minutes and stir in ¼ stick of butter. If the grits appear too thick add water until it reaches your desired consistency. Cook for another ten minutes or until the grits are soft but still preserve their texture, and remove from heat. Add the cheese, bacon, remaining butter, salt, pepper and paprika and stir until everything is well mixed together. Cover until the fish is ready.
Check the fillets for bones and trim as much of the bloodline from the fish as you can without damaging the fillet or tearing the white meat. Combine equal parts salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, garlic powder, Cajun seasoning and thyme in a dish. Coat the outside of the fillets with a good amount of seasoning, rubbing the spices softly into the meat.
In a cast iron skillet, on medium high heat, combine butter, olive oil, and the reserved bacon grease. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, place the fillets in the pan. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove fish and serve directly over grits.
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