Parchment-Steamed Grouper with Martini Relish, Crispy Herbed Couscous and Sour Orange Sauce

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 40 min
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

Sour Orange Sauce:

2 cups orange juice

1 tablespoon clover honey, plus more to taste 

Juice of 1 lime 

Splash extra-virgin olive oil 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Martini Relish:

1/3 cup quartered green olives, such as Picholine

2 jarred piquillo peppers, drained, patted dry and finely diced 

1 small shallot, thinly sliced

1/2 jalapeno, thinly sliced 

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Crispy Herbed Couscous:

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup whole-wheat couscous 

1 tablespoon olive oil 

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill 

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves 

Parchment-Steamed Grouper:

Four 6-ounce grouper fillets (can substitute halibut)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Leaves from 8 large parsley sprigs 

8 large fronds dill 

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 

3 tablespoons dry white wine 

Directions

Special equipment:
4 large pieces of parchment paper
  1. For the sour orange sauce: Bring the orange juice to a boil in a small nonreactive saucepan (nonstick is best) over high heat. Cook, whisking occasionally and skimming any foam that rises to the top, until very thick, about 20 minutes. Lower the heat as the orange juice reduces to avoid burning. Whisk in the honey about 15 minutes into cooking, or whenever the foaming subsides.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and let cool slightly. Whisk in the lime juice, olive oil and 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Taste -- it should be sour but balanced; whisk in a bit more honey if needed. Let sit at room temperature while you make the rest of the dish. (The sauce can be made up to 2 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.)
  3. For the martini relish: Combine the olives, peppers, shallots, jalapeno, dill, parsley, olive oil, vinegar and some salt and pepper in a small bowl. 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 dill and parsley; store in the refrigerator. Add the herbs just before serving.)
  4. For the crispy herbed couscous: Put 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the couscous, remove from the heat, cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  5. Heat the oil in a medium nonstick pan until it shimmers. Add the cooked couscous and press into an even layer. Cook without stirring until the couscous becomes lightly golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes. Flip the couscous with a spatula; it will break up, but that's OK -- you want to get as much of the crispy bottom on top now. Cook, pressing occasionally, to crisp the second side, 2 to 3 minutes. Toss in the pan to break up the crispy bits, then remove from the heat. Toss with the dill and parsley.
  6. For the parchment-steamed grouper: Remove the fish from the refrigerator 15 minutes before baking. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Cut four large parchment paper circles or hearts. Place each piece of fish slightly off-center on a piece of parchment. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, scatter with parsley leaves and torn dill, and drizzle with olive oil and white wine.
  7. Fold the parchment over the fish and crimp the edges tightly in 1/4-inch folds to create a half-moon shape. Make sure you press as you crimp and fold to seal the packets well; otherwise, the steam will escape. Arrange the packets on a baking pan and bake for exactly 7 minutes.
  8. Using oven mitts, place each packet on a dinner plate. Let sit for 1 minute, then carefully open the parchment. Drizzle with sour orange sauce and top with martini relish, followed by a touch more of the sauce. Sprinkle couscous around and on top of the fish. Serve immediately.

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