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Chef’s Corner: Mediterranean favorite mild, healthful

By Staff | Jan 25, 2013

Creole Spiced Grouper with Saffron Couscous

The Tuscan seaport town of Livorno is famous for this simple preparation of white fish featuring Mediterranean favorites, such as tomatoes, olives and capers.

When purchasing filleted fish the first criterion is color. It should have a natural sheen and must never appear dry. My version of this great recipe uses gulf black grouper, because it is a buttery, yet flakey fish that is mild and adapts well to a variety of accompanying ingredients.

I choose to serve it over Moroccan saffron couscous, which is also mild and does not compete with the flavors of this baked black grouper dish. It is just a great culinary marriage.

Couscous is durm wheat semolina with origins of Morocco and has several health benefits. Including it in your diet, in place of rice or quinoa, provides a low calorie grain, high in protein and potassium, perfect for a low calorie, restrictive diet.

Creole Spiced Grouper with Saffron Couscous


4 (8-ounce) grouper fillets

15 oz. Italian plum tomatoes, crushed with juices

1/2 cup white wine

1 cup clam juice

12 Taggia olives, pitted

2 tablespoons of capers

1 medium onion, chopped

1/4 cup virgin olive oil


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Heat olive oil in a large saut pan over medium heat. Add onion, capers, olives and cook until onions become translucent. Add wine, tomatoes, clam juice and simmer for five minutes. Place fish in a pan and put it in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Saffron Couscous


1 1/2 cup couscous

2 cups chicken broth

3 tablespoons olive oil

teaspoon threads of saffron


In a small saucepan combine chicken broth, saffron, butter and bring to boil over high heat. Stir in couscous, cover and remove from heat. Let stand for five minutes until the liquid has been absorbed by couscous. Drizzle with olive oil and gently fluff it with a fork. On a center of a serving dish put a couscous tower, place a piece of fish over, sauce from the pan around it, chopped parsley, lemon wedge and enjoy.

Recipe is courtesy of Chef Aziz of Traditions on the Beach, 3111 West Gulf Drive, in the historic Island Inn. For more information or to make a reservation call (239) 472-4559 or visit “http://www.TraditionsOnTheBeach.com”>www.TraditionsOnTheBeach.com.