Easy-to-make smoky blackened grouper topped with a spicy and fresh fruit salsa. An easy 20-minute dinner for any day of the week!
Have you ever met someone virtually and just vibed with them?
That’s how I felt when I met Serena Wolf via Instagram. She’s one of those people that you automatically just fall in love with… she’s funny, she tells it how it is and BONUS: she’s a chef with a badass food blog!
Needless to say, when I received her latest cookbook in the mail recently, The Dude Diet Dinnertime, I was stoked!
It all happened on a day when I was admiring (read: stalking) Matt Armendariz’s food photography. I came across Serena’s photos for her first cookbook which he shot for her. I visited her blog and literally read all her posts. Her style of writing is just *chef’s kiss*. So descriptive and hilarious! And then when I added her on Instagram and one of her IG Stories was about her struggles with anxiety… I mean… I was hooked!
The whole premise of Dude Diet started as a column on her blog. She wanted to create recipes for her boyfriend now husband that would help him… not die, basically. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is. In essence, all Dude Diet recipes are deceptively healthy recipes for dudes (even though anyone can fall in love with them).
So today, I’m asking you to celebrate her latest cookbook with me by making this delicious Blackened Grouper with Pear-Jalapeño Salsa from The Dude Diet Dinnertime cookbook. This recipe from her cookbook is with peaches which you can also use if you prefer. I went to pear because it’s what was in season (it’s November, at the time of this writing). Click here to grab her cookbook!
You guys, this recipe was so delicious! Just like all of Serena’s recipes. I’m a HUGE fan of blackened seafood (seafood in general) so this recipe spoke to me… plus it’s a quick and dirty dish (as she calls it). Right up my alley.
Let me show you how I brought it to life.
How To Make Blackened Grouper with Pear-Jalapeño Salsa
Ok so first things first, as I mentioned before, you can choose your own adventure here. You don’t want to use pear? Use another fruit. Don’t like grouper? Use another white fish like mahi or cod. Recipes like this are my favorite because you can simply adapt the ingredients and change things up as you see fit.
For the spicy fruit salsa, I combined the diced pear, chopped red onion, minced jalapeño, chopped cilantro, lime and salt in a small bowl. I placed it in the fridge while I made the rest of the meal. This also allowed all the flavors to meld together. Mmm…
Next, I combined the chili powder, smoked paprika, black pepper, cumin, garlic powder, and salt in a bowl. You then brush the fish with olive oil and season with the spice mixture making sure all sides are covered.
Once you’re ready to cook, you preheat the oven at 400 degrees F and then heat olive oil in a cast-iron skillet. Add the fillets and cook for 1 minute at medium-high heat. It may get smoky. It’s cool, let it happen. That’s how you cook blackened fish. Flip it over and cook for another minute then place the skillet in the oven. Bake for 6-8 minutes and voilà! Dinner is ready!
The combo of the spicy fruit salsa with the smoky blackened fish was just SO perfect. This is definitely one of those year-round recipes you can have at any time. Thank you, Serena, for being such a rockstar! See you on your book tour! <3
Can’t wait for you guys to make this recipe!
FOR THE SALSA
- 2 medium pears, cut into a small dice
- 1 small jalapeño, very thinly sliced or minced
- 1/4 cup minced red onion
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
- Juice from 1 large lime
- Pinch of kosher salt
FOR THE FISH
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 grouper fillets, 6 ounces each, 1-inch thick, skin removed
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons, divided
- Juice from 1/2 lime
- Preheat the oven at 400 degrees F.
- Combine all the ingredients for the salsa in a medium bowl. Cover tightly with with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
- In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, smoked paprika, black pepper, cumin, garlic powder, and salt. Pat the fish fillets dry with paper towels. Brush the fillets all over with 2 teaspoons of the oil and season with the spice mixture.
- Heat a large ovenproof skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium-high heat. When the pan is piping hot, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the fillets to the pan, skinned side up, and cook for 1 minute, or until lightly "blackened" (read: deep reddish-brown) on their undersides. The spices and oil will smoke. That's part of the "blackening" process - crack open a window or turn on the vent fan and don't panic.
- Carefully flip the fillets and cook for 1 minute more, or until equally blackened on the opposite side. Pour the lime juice over the fish and transfer skillet to the oven. Bake for 6-8 minutes, until the fish is just opaque in the center and flakes easily with a fork.
- Serve your blackened fish warm, topped with plenty of salsa. Enjoy!