Preparation / Directions:
The bouquet garni is made with a celery stalk tied with whole peppercorns, cloves and parsley. Cut head from grouper. Slice fish into 1 inch steaks and set aside. Place fish head in a large pot of cold water. Add salt and bring water to a boil, then add bouquet garni.
Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Discard fish head and bouquet garni, reserving edible parts of fish head. Using fish stock, cook shrimps in their shells for 10 minutes or until they turn pink. Remove, discard shells and black veins, and reserve.
Using the same stock, heat mussels or clams in their shell for 5 minutes or until shell open. Remove from stock, remove seafood from shells, and reserve seafood. Strain stock to remove any sand or shell particles. Use a little of the oil to sauté onions, garlic, tomatoes, coriander, parsley and cayenne pepper just until vegetables soften, then add mixture to fish stock.
Heat remaining oil and gently fry grouper steaks. remove skin and bones, break grouper into pieces and add to stock mixture along with crab, lobster, shrimp, mussels and edible part of grouper head.
Norma Hernandez specializes in the cuisines of her native Brazil, plus Mexican and Creole-Cajun cooking at her Restaurant Nega Fulo.