Roasted Grouper, Braised Collard Greens, and Pecan-Shallot Cracklins

Adapted by
March 2011
Yield: 4 Servings


Braised Collard Greens
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup bacon, cut medium dice
2 cups onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
3 bunches collard greens, ribbed, washed, and dried
1 cup white wine
3 quarts chicken stock
Pecan-Shallot Cracklins
5 shallots, minced
grapeseed oil, cold
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons pecans, cracked and toasted
1 teaspoon fine herbes
Roasted Grouper
4 6- to 7-ounce grouper fillets
cayenne pepper
1 garlic clove
2 sprigs thyme
To Assemble and Serve
4 tablespoons pepper vinegar


For the Braised Collard Greens:

In a large rondeau, heat olive oil and render the bacon. Add the onions and garlic and sweat until translucent. Remove all solids from the pot, leaving all the fat. Turn the heat to high, and when the fat starts to smoke, add the washed collard greens and allow them to sauté. Mix the greens well and allow the liquid that they produce to reduce to au sec. Add the onion, bacon, and garlic mixture back to the pan and deglaze with wine. Reduce by half, and then add the stock. Simmer 1½ to 2 hours until the greens are tender.

For the Pecan-Shallots Cracklins:

In a tall, medium-sized pot, cover the shallots with the grapeseed oil and bring to a boil, stirring gently. As the shallots start to brown, stir more frequently. Once the shallots achieve a golden-brown color, strain them from the oil, spread them on a paper towel, and season them with salt. Reserve the oil. Measure 2 tablespoons of the shallot cracklins and, in a small bowl, toss together with the pepper, lemon zest, pecans, and fines herbes.

For the Roasted Grouper:

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Heat the reserved grapeseed oil in a large cast iron skillet. Season the fillets with salt and cayenne pepper, and roast in the pan. Flip the fish and finish cooking in the preheated oven. Remove the pan from the oven when the fish is nearly cooked through. Add butter to the pan with garlic and thyme, and let the butter brown. Baste the fish in the resulting brown butter.

To Assemble and Serve:

Pour 1 tablespoon of pepper vinegar into a bowl. Top with the Braised Collard Greens, then 3 tablespoons of the braising liquid. Put the Roasted Grouper fillets on the Braised Collard Greens, and top with the Pecan-Shallot Cracklins.