From the Gulf to my fork

I love my friends Pam and Larry Malinoski. I blogged about Pam a few weeks ago and told you about her debut "Hooked-Up Cooking Show" posted on YouTube. To view it, see my April 2 post.

Anyway, there's a good chance when Pam calls me late in the afternoon and asks, "Have you cooked dinner yet?" that she and Larry had a good day fishing.

Sure enough, yesterday I got THE phone call.

"We caught some grouper; if you want some, come on over," she beckoned over the phone.

Four minutes and 22 seconds later, I was ringing the Malinoskis doorbell.

Wow! Isn't it handsome? (Larry, you're a fine-looking catch, too.)

He caught this grouper in Tampa Bay. I immediately had a plan for this beauty — grouper en papillote. The fish fillets are wrapped in paper, so the steam can't escape. The paper acts as a container, allowing the fish to steam in its own juices, as well as whatever flavorings are added.

I think this is probably one of the easiest and tidiest ways to cook fish. Cleaning the grill is not one of my favorite things to do. So, I grabbed two sheets of parchment paper, (or you can use foil) and started creating a layer of ingredients on top of one of the sheets of parchment paper. First a row of 1/2-inch sliced red potatoes, then the fish fillet, a few slices of Roma tomatoes, a teaspoon of minced garlic, two tablespoons of chopped fresh basil, and finally three or four sliced kalamata olives on top. Season with a dash of salt and pepper and a light drizzle of olive oil.

Repeat this process for each fish fillet.

Fold the paper or foil to enclose the ingredients and seal the edges. Place on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated, 425 degree oven for 20 minutes. The smell is amazing!

Make an X in the top of the packet and fold back the paper: be careful of the steam. Serve immediately.

Thanks Pam and Larry! I owe you big time; this grouper was such a treat — so fresh and so moist. Ah, life is good in Ruskin!

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