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Grouper Cheeks

Chef: Jeff McInnis
November 11, 2011
Recipe: Foie Terrine
February 24, 2012

Grouper Cheeks

From Chef Michael R. Shikany



  • Black Grouper Cheeks – 8 (cleaned)
  • Unsalted Butter – ½ pound
  • Vanilla Bean – 1
  • Pesto
  • Israeli Pumpkin Seeds – ½ cup toasted
  • Basil – 1 Bunch
  • Lemon – 3 (juiced)
  • Garlic – 6 cloves
  • Black Peppercorn
  • Olive Oil
  • Himalayan Pink salt
  • Sabayon
  • Egg Yolks – 6
  • Fuji Apples – 3 Juiced
  • Mangoes – 3 Juiced
  • Mango Pickling
  • Mangoes – 2 peeled and carre (cubed)
  • 2 cups water
  • Lemon – 1 Juiced
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons Turmeric
  • 2 cups Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ½ cups White Wine Vinegar
  • ½ Cup Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon mustard seed
  • ½ Teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ Tablespoon dry Chili Flakes
  • 1 Clove
  • 1 Bayleaf
  • Sea Salt
  • White Pepper


Pickling Mango
Add all the ingredients above under the pickling section. Bring to a boil reduce to a simmer and reduce by half. Bring to room temperature and place in a quart container. Peel slice and cube the mango. Add the mango to the pickling liquid and refrigerate for at least a week.

Clarified Vanilla Butter
Place unsalted butter in a saucepan. Cut vanilla bean in half and place in saucepan. Over low heat melt the butter skimming the milk solids from the top, do not stir. Infuse the butter for two hours and strain though a chinois. You will also notice milk solids in the bottom of the pan; do not dump into the chinois.

Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. On a large sheet pan spread the pumpkin seeds out and toast for 10 minutes. Remember to turn the seeds halfway through to get an even toasting. Remove from the oven and let cool. In a robot coupe or food processer add the pumpkin seeds and blend. Add the basil, lemon juice and garlic and blend again. While on the lowest speed possible begin to add the olive oil, blend to an emulsion is formed. Season with coarse black pepper and pink salt and refrigerate.

To Serve

Strain the pickled mango cubes and dry. Bring a double boiler to a simmer and cover with a large mixing bowl. Add the egg yolks and begin to whisk vigorously. Slowly incorporate the apple mango juice into the yolks while still whisking; do not pour in to fast or your sabayon with break. The sabayon is ready when you can form ribbons with the liquid almost like a soft foamy pudding. Take off the heat and set aside. For service add the sabayon to a foam charger and place in a bain marie to keep warm.

On high heat add the vanilla clarified butter. Season the grouper cheeks with salt and white pepper and brown on both sides. With a food brush paint the bottom of the plate with the pesto at a diagonal. Place one cheek flat on top of the pesto and another one on top at a bias. With your foam charger; foam the sabayon north and south of the diagonal pesto paint. Sprinkle the plate with the pickled mango cubes and garish with a sprig of basil.