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Crispy skinned groper on warm salad

Chef: Recipe kindly supplied by Sarah Searancke Catering

Serves: 6

Cooking time: 60

Cooking method: Pan-fry


Potato salad

  • 750g baby potatoes
  • ½ cup capers, roughly chopped
  • 80g cornichons (mini gherkins), finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 200g sour cream
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper

Lemon myrtle vinaigrette

  • 2 tsp Manuka honey
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 2 tbspn white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup grape seed oil
  • 1 tbspn lemon myrtle (use lemon thyme as an alternative), finely chopped
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper

1kg Groper fillets, boneless and skin on

Canola oil, for frying

Cooking instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. To make the potato salad, place potatoes in a saucepan and just cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain off the water. Once potatoes have cooled down and are able to be handled, cut each potato into 2-3 pieces. Place in a bowl and add capers, cornichons, parsley and sour cream. Fold gently to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and leave aside until ready to serve.
  3. To make the vinaigrette, place honey, mustard, lemon zest, lemon juice and white wine vinegar into a bowl and mix to combine. Whisk in both the oils to form a smooth dressing. Stir in lemon myrtle and add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. To prepare the fish, make sure the skin is completely free of scales. Do this by scraping it with the edge of a sharp knife. Rinse any scales away. Pat the skin completely dry with paper towels. The skin must be dried out as much as possible before cooking. Cut the Groper fillets into 6 even sized pieces. Season the tops very lightly with sea salt and black pepper.
  5. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Use enough oil to thinly coat the entire bottom of the pan. Add the fillets skin side down and turn the heat up slightly. Weigh them down gently with a fish slice so that the skin is pressed against the floor of the pan. Make sure the fillets are spaced well apart. Keep cooking the fish another 2 to 4 minutes, until the skin is crispy. Flip over the fillets and turn off the heat. For thin fillets, let residual heat slowly finish cooking the fish for about 30 to 60 seconds otherwise finish cooking the fish in the oven for 7-8 minutes or until just cooked. 
  6. Place warm potato salad in the middle of the plates, top with crispy Groper fillets and drizzle with lemon myrtle vinaigrette. Serve with a sprig of dill.

Courtesy Seafood NZ