• Prep Time:
  • Cooking Time:
  • Serves: 4 Servings

Grilled Grouper with Ancho Chile Butter

  • Recipe Submitted by on

Category: Seafood

 Ingredients List

  • 1 Dried ancho chile; about 3x2
  • -inches without the stem
  • 1 sm Bunch fresh cilantro
  • 28 oz Grouper; cut into 4x7oz
  • -fillets, each 1/2" thick
  • Salt and freshly ground
  • -black pepper; to taste
  • 4 ts Vegetable oil
  • 3 1/2 tb Butter; at room temperature
  • -but not completely soft
  • 1/8 ts Cayenne pepper; or to taste
  • 1 tb Fresh lemon juice


Start a medium-hot fire in the grill, or preheat the oven broiler. Fifteen
minutes before you're going to grill the fillets, put the grill grate about
4 inches over the coals if it isn't already there. Brush the top of the
grate with vegetable oil just before grilling to keep fish from sticking.

If your hands are sensitive to chiles, wear thin gloves. Place the chile on
the counter and make a slit along the length of one side to open it up.
Dump out the seeds; tear or cut out the stem and discard it. Trim away any
pronounced ribs. Put the chile in a bowl and cover it by at least 1 inch of
very hot water. Let the chile soak until it's pliable, about 15 minutes.

Pick enough cilantro leaves from the bunch to measure 1/4 cup, lightly
packed. Wash and dry them on paper towels. Refrigerate the rest for another

Dry the grouper fillets with paper towels, season them with salt and
pepper, and rub them all over with the vegetable oil. Set aside.

Remove the chile from the water and pat it dry with paper towels. Discard
the soaking water. Cut or rip the chile into rough pieces and put them in
the bowl of a food processor or blender, along with the butter, cayenne,
lemon juice and cilantro leaves. Pulse the ingredients, scraping the
processor often until the chile is in tiny pieces and the butter has turned
a rusty orange color (there will be just a small amount). Season the butter
with salt and a generous amount of pepper.

Remove the butter from the processor and set it aside while you grill the
grouper. (Refrigerate the butter if the kitchen is hot, if the butter has
gotten very soft, or to hold it for up to 2 weeks. It also freezes well.)
The butter should be somewhat soft when served, so it melts on the fish.

Place the grouper fillets, skin side up, on the preheated grate over the
coals, or skin side down if using a broiler pan. Grill or broil for 6-7
minutes, until they've browned, then turn them with a metal spatula. (If
broiling, don't turn them.) Grill the second side for another 3-4 minutes.
Depending on the intensity of the coals, the grouper should be done at this
point; check by slightly separating the flesh in the center of one fillet
with a metal spatula. The fish should be white and opaque throughout.

Place grouper fillets on plates, top each with a dollop of soft ancho chile
butter, and serve right away.

Notes: COMMENTS: "The Grilled Grouper with Ancho Chile Butter is my
favorite of the grouper recipes," says Revsin. "The ancho chile butter has
a real earthiness that pairs with it well." Ancho chiles are dried chiles
with an earthy flavor and moderate heat. Before drying, they're fresh
chiles known as poblanos. They wrinkle and turn dark brown, almost black,
when dried. This dish can be grilled or broiled in the oven. The total prep
and cooking time is about 35-40 minutes.

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