Grilled Redfish and Crabmeat with Lemon-Butter Sauce
Red Fish Grill
For 6 servings
1 recipe lemon butter sauce
salad oil (not olive oil) for brushing on the grill rack and fish fillets
¼ cup good-quality dry white wine, divided, plus a few tablespoons of the wine if grilling the fillets in batches
6 skinless redfish fillets, 6 to 8 ounces each, neatly trimmed, with the “belly” removed if it is still attached
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked through
1 teaspoon kosher salt
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
warm French bread, for the table
- Clean the grill rack with a wire brush and preheat it until it is hot. Then add wet or dry hickory or other wood chips. Brush the rack with a thick wad of paper towels saturated in salad oil, holding the paper towels with long-handled tongs so you don’t burn yourself.
- While the grill is preheating, prepare the lemon butter sauce if this is not already done, and keep it warm as directed in the sauce recipe.
- Place the fillets on a work surface. Brush both sides with salad oil, and season each fillet evenly on both sides with Creole seasoning, using ½ teaspoon of the seasoning on each side of each fillet.
- Once the grill is ready, place the fillets directly on it and cook until they are done, about 2½ to 4 minutes per side. The cooking time will vary according to the heat of the grill and the thickness of the fillets. (Watch closely so the fish does not overcook.) Use a broad, large and sturdy spatula to turn over the fillets at least once while cooking.
- When you think the fish is approaching the level of doneness you’re looking for, briefly insert the tip of a knife into the thickest part of the fillet. Then lay the tip of the blade flat against the inside of your wrist. If the tip feels hot against your skin the fish should be done.
- If cooking the fillets in batches, transfer them to a heat-proof platter placed in a warm spot, and drizzle the fillets with white wine to keep them moist while grilling the remaining fish.
- While the fillets are grilling, sauté the crabmeat.
- In a heavy 12-inch sauté pan, melt butter over medium-high heat until hot, about three minutes. Add ¼ cup wine and heat for 30 seconds. Add the crabmeat and season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper.
- Cook until the crabmeat is just warmed through, about two minutes, lightly tossing so the lumps of crabmeat stay intact. Serve immediately.
- Serving Suggestion: Arrange a fish fillet on each heated dinner plate. Top each with a portion of the crabmeat, and spoon 3 tablespoons of the sauce over it.
Lemon Butter Sauce
1½ cups good-quality dry white wine
½ cup fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon minced or very finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon apple-cider vinegar
1 teaspoon minced shallots
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon, packed, minced fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons heavy cream
⅞ pound (3½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into about 20 pats
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- In a heavy, nonreactive 3-quart saucepan, combine the wine, lemon juice and zest, vinegar, shallots, garlic, and thyme. Cook over medium-high heat until the liquid in the mixture reduces to 1 to 2 tablespoons, about five minutes.
- Add the cream and cook until the liquid in the pan reduces to 1 to 2 tablespoons, about four minutes. (The sauce may be prepared to this point up to 45 minutes ahead and left at room temperature. Reheat the cream mixture briefly over medium heat, whisking constantly, before proceeding to Step 3.)
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook as you add 2 pats of butter at a time, whisking constantly, until all the butter is added and incorporated into the sauce; each addition of butter should be almost completely melted in before adding more. This will take roughly 10 to 15 minutes total. Remove from heat.
- Whisk in the kosher salt and pepper.
- If serving the sauce immediately, strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a small saucepan. If not serving promptly, strain the sauce into the top of a double boiler and serve as soon as possible and definitely within one hour, keeping the sauce warm, uncovered, over hot (not simmering) water.