Grouper or Halibut Steamed in Parchment with Sour Orange Sauce and Martini Relish

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 50 min
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 2 servings
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Sour Orange Sauce:

2 cups fresh orange juice, plus 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

2 tablespoons clover honey or pure cane sugar, plus more as needed

Juice of 1 lime, plus 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest

Splash of white wine vinegar

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Martini Relish:

1/2 cup quartered green pitted olives (such as Picholine or Castelvetrano)

2 piquillo peppers, drained, patted dry and diced

1/2 jalapeno, finely diced

1 small shallot, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


2 grouper or halibut fillets, 6 ounces each

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons dry white wine

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Parsley leaves, for garnish


  1. Make the sour orange sauce: Put the orange juice in a small nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until thickened and reduced to about 1/2 cup, 12 to 15 minutes. Whisk in the honey and transfer to a heatproof bowl.
  2. Whisk in the lime juice and zest, orange zest and vinegar then season with salt and pepper. Taste and add more honey, if needed. The sauce can be made up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.
  3. Make the martini relish: Combine the olives, peppers, jalapeno, shallot, vinegar, oil and parsley in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Stir and let sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. The relish can be made up to 1 day in advance without the parsley and refrigerated. Stir in the parsley just before serving.
  4. Make the fish: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  5. Season the fillets on both sides with salt and pepper. Cut 2 large parchment paper circles or hearts. Place 1 fillet in the center of each piece of parchment. Top each fillet with 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of wine. For each packet, bring the edges of the parchment together, then tightly fold in the edges, crimping around all sides to seal the packet completely. Place the packets on a rimmed baking sheet or in a large ovenproof skillet.
  6. Bake the packets for 15 minutes. Using oven mitts, place each packet on a dinner plate and let sit for 2 minutes. Carefully cut open each packet and drizzle the fish with some of the sour orange sauce and top with some of the martini relish. Garnish with parsley leaves. Serve immediately.