Blackened Snapper with Goat Cheese and Fresh Herb Grits

Main Course

Recipe Courtesy of Chef Patrick Heim, Oak Crest Mansion, Pass Christian MS

Makes 8 Servings



  • 4 tablespoons paprika
  • 4 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 3 teaspoons ground white pepper
  • 3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 4 teaspoons onion powder
  • 4 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 8 6 oz fillets Fresh-caught Gulf red snapper



  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 cup thinly sliced wild mushrooms (porcini, shiitake, oyster, etc.)
  • 5 leeks, chopped, white and pale green parts only (about 4 cups)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoons finely chopped chives



  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup stone ground grits
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 4 ounces soft goat cheese (chevre)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 leaves fresh basil, cut in a chiffonade
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • salt

Blackened Snapper with Goat Cheese
and Fresh Herb Grits, 
Topped with Melted Leeks and Wild Mushrooms


Click for Video of Cooking Demonstration


Mix paprika, cayenne, white and black peppers, salt, onion  and garlic powders, thyme and oregano. Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat for 10 minutes. Dip fish in melted butter and sprinkle each fillet generously on both sides with seasoning mixture. Place fish fillets in hot skillet. Pour 1 tablespoon butter over each fillet. Cook until the coating on the underside of the fillets turns black, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn fish. Pour 1 more tablespoon butter over each fillet and cook until fish flakes easily with a fork, about 2 minutes.


Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Do not brown. Add mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. When mushrooms are tender add leeks and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add chives.


Bring water, cream, and salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Slowly add grits, stirring constantly until smooth. Reduce heat to medium-low , cover and cook until smooth, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. When grits are creamy add goat cheeese, herbs and pepper.

Spoon grits into centers of 8 plates or a large platter. Place fish atop grits. Top fish with leeks and mushrooms. Garnish with additional fresh herbs.



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