Monday, December 19, 2011

Grits and Grunts Next Time

We tried a new fish today called grunt fish or pigfish which doesn't sound very appetizing, but the name belies the goodness we soon discovered. The name grunt comes from the ability of this fish to grind it's teeth making a noise which sounds like a grunt. I didn't have any grits so I couldn't make the famous Florida dish Grits and Grunts, but look for it next time I have this fish. There's also a folkloric novel about Key West by Stetson Kennedy called Grits and Grunts which I'll have to see if I can find at the library.

Before I began to cook the fish I started some brown rice. While the rice was simmering, I cooked up a large batch of a vegetable medley which consists of  fresh tomatoes, crookneck, and zucchini squash added to sauteed ginger and shallots with a generous sprinkling of whatever herbs I grab from the cabinet. We eat the vegetables all week long.

Once the rice and vegetables were well on their way I sauteed a little fresh ginger in a small sauce pan, placed the patted dry fish fillets in the pan and then added some teriyaki sauce after I turned them over. I covered them briefly and they were done in a flash.

Grunt fish is a delicious reef fish which is very mild and sweet. Since the fish cooks so quickly, next time I'll reduce the teriyaki sauce beforehand to thicken it, then pour it over the fillets. The fillets were delicate and tasty morsels. Once again we're thankful to shop at such a wonderful local fish market and for the bounty the Gulf of Mexico provides. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. never heard of this fish, but your food always looks so good! And I like anything you can put with grits!

  2. Never heard of it, either. I love your fish recipes. What a nice way to live with all that fresh fish. That veggie medley sounds good, too. I like cooking with ginger and usually include it in fish recipes. This one sounds yummy.

  3. Hello Linda:
    This fish sounds most interesting and clearly is delicious when cooked. Like Teresa we have not heard of it before now.

  4. When I lived in Key West we had family friends and the husband ate Grits, Grunts and cocoanut pie every day of his life. His wife was a marvelous German cook but he only ate that menu. He was riding a bicycle to work in his 70s.
    We use to hand line fish from a skiff for Grunts and Yellow tails. Wonderful eating. Thanks for the memory jog.

  5. I suppose that octogenarian grunt fish are rather silent until they are able to get missing teeth replaced with dentures! (Look, I do have a silly sense of humour don't I!).. Anyway, a fascinating glimpse into more of the world beneath the water, as well as into the yummy culinary one! I think that you must be a fantastic cook!
    Very Merry, Happy, and Wonderful Christmas to you and Gary,
    P. L. & NS & G xx

  6. We lived near the Gulf for a time when we were in Texas. Being originally from PA, I had no idea seafood could be that good.

  7. I have to say that grunt fish does not sound too appetizing.. and never heard of 'grits and grunts' but if I ever do I will now know what they are talking about... happy holidays!

  8. I think part of it is the fantastic plates you choose, but your food always looks so inviting.

  9. Hi Meredith, thanks, at the farmer's market there is a man in his 80s who grinds grits with a grist mill that runs very slow, one of those ancient machines; I should have gotten some from him, I have never had them but he does grind cornmeal and I love cornbread.

    Hi Teresa, thanks, ginger and shallots have become a staple around here. I am amazed each time we go to the fish market at what they have.

    Hi Turquoisemoon, thanks, the teriyaki was wonderful with this mild fish.

    Hi Jane and Lance, thanks, I think the gulf is abundant with sea life and some as yet are probably undiscovered.

    Hi Patti, thanks, I just read that the grunt fish can carry a bacteria I may not get it again too risky, what a hoot the diet of that man, love that coconut pie.

    Hi Peter, thanks, nice to hear from you, I am lucky to have cooked all my life as my mother hated it and I just "knew" there must be something better than fish sticks and meatloaf. Ha.

    Hi Melissa, thanks, many folks say they don't like fish but I think if they get it real fresh and cook it properly they will change their mind, we are indeed lucky here.

  10. Hi Donna, thanks, I was rather mortified when Gary came home and told me the name of the fish, but since I am adverturesome I went ahead and cooked it up, after all what could I do, but then when I read about the Grunt and Grits I laughed like crazy, isn't that just like the Southern cooks to have a name like that Ha. If someone didn't tell you the name of this fish you'd probably think it tasted like perch.

    Hi Mary, thanks, I am kind of wearing out the welcome for this plate and need to find some others to use. Ha. But years ago I worked in an advertising company adjacent the cooking section and learned a lot of food taste is all in how it is presented.


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