Log In / Join Now

Dining Tip: New Orleans–Style Grilled Fish from Commander's Palace

Get a taste of the Big Easy with this surf-and-turf dish, and pair with a plush Chardonnay
Photo by: Andrew Purcell
Pompano is a rich fish that finds a great match in Creole spices.

Posted: October 2, 2017

Note: This recipe originally appeared in the September 30, 2015, issue of Wine Spectator, "Fish & Wine."

Recipe courtesy of Tory McPhail of Grand Award winner Commander's Palace in New Orleans

Grilled Pompano with Crispy Sweetbreads and Crab-Boiled Vegetables

• 3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
• 4 7-ounce skin-on pompano fillets
• Creole seasoning such as Tony Chachere's or Zatarain's
• Crab-boiled vegetables
• Vinaigrette
• Sweetbreads
• 1 lemon, quartered

1. Bring a grill to medium-high heat and stoke with soaked hickory chips. Place the oil on a large plate and drag the pompano fillets through it. Season both sides of the fillets liberally with the Creole seasoning. Cook the fillets on the grill, flesh side first, then turn after about 3 minutes, cooking the skin side until crispy, about another 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Reheat the vegetables in the pot of reserved seasoned, simmering water until warm. Drain well, then toss vegetables in a bowl with enough of the vinaigrette to lightly coat.

3. Divide the vegetables among four plates. Place a grilled pompano fillet on each, and garnish with the crispy sweetbreads and vinaigrette. Finish each plate with freshly squeezed lemon. Serves 4.

To make the crab-boiled vegetables

Andrew Purcell

• 1 cup Zatarain's Crawfish, Shrimp & Crab Boil
• 2 ears yellow corn, shucked, all silk removed
• 1/2 pound fingerling potatoes, thinly sliced
• 2 large carrots, peeled and diced to 1/4-inch thickness
• 4 stalks celery, diced to 1/4-inch thickness
• 1/2 pound button mushrooms, quartered

In a large soup pot, combine the crab boil with two gallons of water, cover and bring to a rolling simmer. Cook all the ingredients in the boil separately, remove, and chill. Keep the seasoned water simmering.

To make the vinaigrette

• 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1 large egg
• Juice of 1/2 lemon
• Pinch of kosher salt
• Pinch of ground white pepper
• 2 tablespoons water
• Leaves from 4 sprigs thyme

1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat, swirling occasionally, until browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Pour the butter into a bowl and let cool almost to room temperature.

2. In another bowl, whisk together the egg, lemon juice, salt, pepper, water and thyme leaves. Gradually whisk the melted butter into the egg mixture, and continue whisking until thickened and smooth. Set aside to come to room temperature.

To make the sweetbreads

• 2 cups soy oil
• 12 ounces sweetbreads, cleaned, sectioned into bite-size pieces and briefly poached
• Creole seasoning such as Tony Chachere's or Zatarain's
• 2 cups all-purpose flour

Place the oil in a deep-sided cast-iron skillet and bring to medium-high heat. Season the sweetbreads liberally with the Creole seasoning, then dredge through the flour. Fry until crisp, 1 or 2 minutes per side, then drain on paper towels.

Recommended wine pairings

Chef's pick: Comtesse Bernard de Cherisey Meursault-Blagny La Genelotte 2014

Wine Spectator alternates: Maison Roche de Bellene St.-Aubin 2014 (90, $36)
Hahn Chardonnay Santa Lucia Highlands SLH 2015 (91, $25)

More Helpful Information:

WineRatings+ app: Download now for 340,000+ ratings.