In this blog entry we’ll introduce you and have you shake fins with the Grouper. It’s rather strange name does not stem from its social organization skills, but rather from the Portuguese word for fish, which is garoupa. The Grouper is not known for its litheness. Rather, it is a stocky fish that is ill equipped for fast and/or extended movement in the water.
One of the larger commercially caught fish, many Groupers can exceed 6 feet in length and can weigh well over 200 lbs. They have very wide mouths, but these mouths are somewhat cursed with a dearth of teeth. Because of this, they have to swallow their prey whole, which they then break down with hard, tooth-like plates in their pharynx.1
They have a pretty tasty diet that would be the envy of seafood lovers, the standbys of which are lobsters, crabs, shrimp, and smaller ocean fish. As mentioned before, they have to swallow their prey whole and they are greatly assisted in this effort by their astoundingly powerful gill muscles. Their gill muscles are strong enough to allow them to vacuum in prey from impressive distances. These muscles help them not only as predators, but also to escape from their own predators. When feeling threatened, a Grouper will lodge itself into a small cave or crevice and once it has done this, it will employ its great gill strength and will be nearly impossible to pry out.
The Grouper is a fish that for the most part enjoys a warmer climate. They’re frequently found in the Gulf of Mexico and Carribbean Sea and are a favorite among deep-sea fishermen. Many Groupers experience a change of gender over the course of their lifetimes, starting out as male and then switching over to female upon reaching full size and maturity. Not all Groupers do this though, as some inherit a gender at birth and maintain it throughout their lives. In respect to their appearance, most groupers are a rather dull gray or greenish-brown type of color, though some of the many sub species can be more brightly colored. The Nassau Grouper can even change its colors and patterns at will, much like a chameleon.
There are many sub-species of grouper which included, but are not limited to the Black Grouper, Comet Grouper, Nassau Grouper, Tiger Grouper, Yellowfin Grouper, Atlantic Goliath Grouper, and many others. (The Atlantic Goliath Grouper is responsible for setting most of the Grouper size records.) The taste of Grouper flesh seems to be very similar among the different species, featuring a thick and firm texture with a very mild taste which is often likened to that of Tilapia. Groupers can be cooked in a great variety of ways, with broiling, frying, and grilling all being viable options. Some people who are equipped with advanced aquarium supplies keep Groupers as pets, but they grow very quickly and can’t be kept as pets for long by anybody except for the most hardcore of aquarium enthusiasts.
We’ll wrap up this Grouper talk with a delicious recipe we spotted on AllRecipes.com called Broiled Grouper Parmesan. This tasty treat is easy to prepare and feeds four people. Without further ado, we’ll now share the recipe with you.
Ingredients: 2 lbs of fresh Grouper fillets, 1/4 cup softened butter, salt and pepper (if desired), 1 dash of hot pepper sauce, 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise, 1/2 grated Parmesan cheese, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice2
1. Preheat the oven broiler to 400 degrees
2. Grease a baking tray and place the Grouper fillets on top and coat them lightly with lemon juice.
3. Mix the Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, and hot sauce in a small bowl.
4. Keep the fillets in the broiler for around 5 minutes. Once they begin to flake with the touch of a fork, you can top them with the mixture in the bowl.
5. Put the fillets back into the broiler until the topping has become bubbly and begins to crust.2.
Image courtesy of AllRecipes.com
1. Author Unavailable
Broiled Grouper Parmesan