Grouper Fromage (Amazing!)

June 27, 2010

This is one of if not the best recipes I’ve made from Grouper.  Surprisingly, it relies on two ingredients most would never expect in a recipe for fish: Cheese and Mayonnaise. But, believe me when I say I almost fell out of my chair when I tasted it. PERFECTION!

This recipe would also work for Snapper, Dorado, or Redfish. But really try to stick with Grouper if at all possible.

1 Tbsp Butter or Olive Oil

¾ cup chopped onion

2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

1 cup mayonnaise

1 tsp hot pepper sauce

¼ tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

¼ tsp black pepper

4 Grouper fillets, about 8 oz. each

1 lemon, halved

Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

1 stick cold butter, cut into 8 slices

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small skillet, add 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil over medium hear. Add onion and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.In the bowl, add the cheese, mayo, hot pepper sauce and the half each of the garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside.Grease a 13 by 9 2-inch baking dish. Sprinkle the fish with the other half of the garlic, salt and pepper. Place the fish in the baking dish and squeeze the juice of the lemon over it and sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Top fish with the slices of butter. Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until the fish is almost done; the time will depend on the thickness of your fish filets. Remove the dish from the oven and cover each filet with ½ cup of the cheese mixture. Return to the oven and bake until cheese melts, about 8 to 10 more minutes. Serve immediately with your favorite vegetable or side dish.


The Best Upgrade for Offshore Gear

August 20, 2009

The Tiberon T-Bar Handle Upgrade

Shimano_TLD20-II_T-BarI’ve incessantly worked on improving the gear and tackle that I use in order to gain a fishing advantage when I travel offshore in search of the next beast. I’ve been developing my own tackle that works great and is quick to change out when on the water or when the bite is on; I’ve updated fishing line and worked with different colors and presentations of baits; I’ve even changed the way my gear is organized to make sure I spend the most time fishing instead of fumbling around on the deck trying to find that elusive swivel. But there has been no better upgrade that I have found than to replace your offshore reel’s handle with a new Tiberon T-Bar Handle

The last time I ventured offshore, my favorite reel, a Shimano TLD-20 II 2 speed, broke its handle in the middle of a hot bite. For the rest of the day I was stuck using a cracked handle that was already a pain to use after many hours of reeling up huge red snapper from over 200 feet of water. In my quest for a new handle, I came across Tiberon, a manufacturer of rods, reels and reel handles.  I found out that many tournament pros use upgraded handles due to their size advantage and a far more ergonimic design that allows the user a far greater comfort level over “stock” handles. I ordered a Tiberon T-Bar Lite for my reel promptlty in hopes of having the same results.

tbarliteBoy, what a difference an upgraded handle makes! It’s been by far the best investment I’ve made on any of my gear. I recommend that anyone who fishes offshore enough to own their own rods and reels spend the extra $40 to upgrade their reel’s handle.  It will be the best money ever spent.  You can find information on Tiberon’s two models of handles here.  I am also including a link to the place where I purchased the handle, The Angler’s Center. I ordered the handle on Friday, and it arrive by the next Wednesday. Awesome service.

Please feel free to post replies if you’ve had the same success. I can’t believe the difference in comfort one upgrade makes.

McMahon Snaps – The Best Snap for Offshore Fishing

August 6, 2009

mcmahon_snap_and_swivel_smallI have tried almost every snap and swivel combination on the market, and I have settled on a rather hard to find cross-locking snap, the McMahon Snap, as my “go to” connection between my offshore fishing line and leader.  My cousin, Bryan,  first introduced me to the McMahon snap back in the early 90’s, at the start of my offshore fishing career.  Relatively unknown by new or unseasoned offshore fishermen, the McMahon snap (often in a snap and swivel combination) has a huge benefit over other snaps around in their strength and ease in which any type of leader or terminal rig can be changed in no time. 

McMahon scissor snaps added to barrel swivels are a perfect choice for a quick connection in a trolling harness where a quick change in a lure is necessary.  These can also be used on a wire leader when quick changing a lure or hook.

The obvious benefits I have realized are:

  1. Strength – a cross-locking single piece of metal prevents the snap from breaking;
  2. Ease of Use – a simple push of the snap on both sides opens the snap to attach or replace a leader or barrel swivel for replacement on main fishing line;
  3. Versatility – can be used on any type of offshore fishing from trolling, jigging, bottom fishing, or site fishing;
  4. Configurability – can be used with almost any barrel swivel that it can snap to;

The only problem I have had in keeping these snaps in my tackle box is that they are hard to find in local sporting goods stores or tackle shops. For some reason, McMahon snaps are not typically stocked. However, I have found a couple of places online where they can be ordered. I order only the snaps, so that I can use any type of barrel swivel I want.

My advice to anyone who fishes offshore once or a million times is to make sure to have these snaps in your tackle box. You will land more fish and never have to worry about a losing a fish to a faulty snap and swivel.

Best Blackened Snapper or Redfish

July 3, 2009

This is the best blacked recipe I have made.  You can also make a larger portion in advance and keep in bottle to use on anything from chicken to  shrimp.

Best fish to use for this recipe is redfish or snaper, but anything other firm fleshed fish will work.

3 pound fish steaks or fillets, cut 1/2 inch thick and chilled
1 T paprika
2 t cayenne pepper
1 t black pepper
1 t white pepper
2 t dried thyme
2 t dried oregano
2 t dried basil
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t salt
lemon wedges for

Preheat seasoned cast iron skillet to high.  If you have an ourdoor burner (either attached to a grill or a “fish fry” propane burner), use it.  The fumes and smoke are incredibly overpowering to cook fish indoors.

Keep the fish well chilled. Melt some butter and put in a shallow dish. Mix the herbs and spices together and sprinkle on a separate plate. Dip the fish in the melted butter and then roll the buttered fish in the herb mixture. Make sure the fish is well coated with herb mixture. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. (Note: I have tried this recipe without dipping the fish in melted butter and without refrigerating and it has worked fine.

Use a small amount of canola out to lightly coat pan.

Place fish in skillet and cook 2 minutes per side or as long as it takes. It’s always better to under cook fish than it is to over cook. After all the fish is cooked, add butter to cooled skillet and serve as a sauce.

Blackeded fish is perfect for poboys.  Get your favorite poboy bread, toast it and add filets with lettuce, mayonaise (or tartar sauce), dash of hot sauce (I prefer Louisiana Hot Sauce)

Serve with homemade fries or fried plantans.

Grilled Dorado Salad

June 15, 2009

(with Balsamic, Lime & Herb Emulsification) 

Just made this salad recently and wanted to post the recipe for future reference.  The combination of the fresh herbs, Dorado and steamed green beans in this salad created a perfect proportion of flavor and tecture.  The salad is also very healthy and can be added to any limited caloric diet. Less dressing can be used to reduce calories even further.


1 Filet fresh Dorado (dolphin, mahi mahi)

2 cups Baby Spinach

1 cup fresh green beans

Red Onion (optional)

Roma Tomatoes (optional)

1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar

1/2 cup Olive Oil

1/4 cup Fresh Lime Juice

3 large cloved Garlic

Fresh Basil

Fresh Oregano



How To:

Add handful of chopped Basic, Oregano and 3 cloves garlic to food processor; add 2 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice with pinch salt and pepper.  Process until emulsified.  Set 1 Tbsp of processed mixture aside and add remainder of mixture to ziplock bag and add fish filet. 

Preheat grill on high and add mesquite chips for full flavor.  When hot, add fish to oiled grill and grill on both sides until done (5 minutes).

While fish is grilling, prepare green beans by either steaming or boiling them until al dente.  Cut into thirds or halfs (bite sized pieces) and set aside.

Add spinach to metal mixing bowl and add julienned tomotoes and onion; add green beans add salt and pepper. 

In plastic bottle or food processor, add oil and vinegar as well as saved herb marinade mixture and blend or shake until fully emulsified.  Add dressing to salad and toss well to coat evenly.  Transfer to chilled serving bowl.

Top salad with Dorado filet.  Enjoy with buttered cornbread.

Serves 1

Monty Tries to Catch Up.

February 15, 2007

Well it seems that Monty couldn’t stand Raul’s record Grouper and almost beat it by landing this monster while commercial fishing on the Capt. Casey.  It was 301.9 lbs., less than a pound away from Raul’s 302.7 pounder.  That seems as close as one can possibly get.   The near record fish was caught on January 29, 2007.

Monty’s 301lb. Monster

Raul Catches a Monster Grouper

January 2, 2007

Our deckhand Raul caught one of the largest grouper I have ever seen.  It is now the Texas State record at 302.7 lbs.  Congratulations!  And we hope to catch one that big on our next Elliott trip!