Florida Grouper, Shrimp Toast, Avocado Crema, Papaya & Mango Chutney

Avocado Crème Fraiche

  • 1 Florida avocado

  • 2 oz fresh lime juice

  • 1 tsp cumin, ground

  • 1 tsp coriander, ground

  • 1 tsp fennel  seed, ground

  • ½ tsp white pepper, ground

  • ½ cup Crème Fraiche

  • 1 tsp kosher salt

  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, whole

  • 1 garlic clove

  1. Place all ingredients into a blender and mix until incorporated (about 30 seconds).  

  2. Add more Crème Fraiche if necessary to reach desired consistency.

  3. Store in plastic container and refrigerate.

Mango Coulis

  • 1 mango, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 4 fl oz rice wine vinegar

  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt

  1. In a blender, combine all ingredients and mix until incorporated (about 20 seconds).

  2. Store in a squeeze bottle and cool in an ice bath.

Papaya-Mango Chutney

  • 1 cup mango, peeled and small diced

  • 1 cup papaya peeled, de-seeded and small diced

  • 1 Tbsp jalapeno, minced

  • 2 Tbsp red onion, minced

  • ½ fl oz fresh lime juice

  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt

  • 1 Tbsp fresh chives, minced

  • 4 fl oz Florida orange juice, freshly squeezed

  • 1 Tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped

  • 2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped

  • 1 Tbsp sugar

  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar

  1. In a 2 qt stockpot over medium-heat, add 2 fl oz water, sugar and thyme and cook until water evaporates.

  2. Slowly pour vinegar and juice, simmering gently until reduced by half.

  3. Toss remaining ingredients except chives into reduction. Simmer until fruit is warmed through (about 1 minute).

  4. Remove from heat. Gently fold in chives and store in a plastic container. Refrigerate (this is best when prepared at least one day ahead to allow flavors to develop).

  5. Before serving, drain any excess liquid from chutney.

Spicy Gulf Shrimp Toast

  • ½ lb Gulf Shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed

  • 2 Tbsp Creole mustard

  • 1 fl oz fresh lemon juice

  • 1 Tbsp Fish Sauce

  • 2 tsp tomato paste

  • 2 Tbsp fresh chives, minced

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

  • 2 tsp chili flakes

  • 4 slices white bread, frozen

  • 1 tsp cornstarch

  • ½ tsp kosher salt

  • 16 fl oz vegetable oil

  1. Place a large cast iron pan over medium-high heat, bring oil to 375 degrees.

  2. Remove crusts from frozen bread. Slice each in half to form a triangle and bake at 350 degrees until crispy and dry (about 10 minutes).

  3. In a food processor, add all ingredients (except shrimp and oil) and mix until incorporated (about 20 seconds). Add shrimp and pulse mixture until it reaches a slightly-chunky consistency.

  4. Spread each triangle toast with 1 Tbsp of shrimp mixture.

  5. Lower toast in hot oil, shrimp side down until lightly browned (about 1-2 minutes). Do not flip.

  6. Using a slotted spatula, remove shrimp toast from pan and dry on paper towels to remove excess grease (shrimp side down).

  7. Flip and lightly season with salt.

Pan-Seared Grouper

  • 8 - 4 oz Red Grouper fillets

  • 2 fl oz clarified butter

  • 4 Tbsp butter

  • 8 tsp kosher salt

  • 4 tsp black pepper, ground

  • 3 sprigs of thyme

  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed

  1. Season fillets evenly on all sides.

  2. In a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, add clarified butter (it should be very hot and near smoking). Sear filets for about 3-4 minutes on each side to cook through.

  3. In a large cast iron skillet over high heat, add clarified butter. Before searing, butter should be very hot and near smoking. Sear fillets for about 3-4 minutes on each side.  

  4. To baste fillets in brown butter, flip and move the fish to the rear of the pan. Tilt the skillet slightly towards you and increase heat to high. Add butter, thyme and garlic to the juices collected at the bottom of the pan. Let butter cook until browned (about 10 seconds) and using a metal spoon, quickly baste the top of the fillets for about 30 seconds. Remove from skillet and let rest in a warm location for 1 minute before serving.


  • Pan-Seared Grouper Filets

  • Avocado Crème Fraiche

  • Spicy Gulf Shrimp Toast

  • Mango Coulis

  • Papaya Mango Chutney

  • Siracha

Mound 2 Tbsp of Avocado Crème Fraiche on each of the 8 serving plates. Using the back of a spoon, drag mixture to create a swoosh design. Place a triangle of Spicy Gulf Shrimp Toast in the center of plate with the point facing to the left. Lean a Pan-Seared Grouper Filet again toast at an angle. Top each filet with 1 Tbsp of Papaya Mango Chutney. Squirt 5 dots of Mango Coulis, beginning at top center of plate down the right side. Place a smaller dot of Siracha into the center of each Mango Coulis dot and using a wooden skewer, starting from the top, drag through each dot (optional).

John Minas