Capt. Hurshell’s Grouper in Tomato Wine Sauce

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Captain Hurshell’s Fish in Tomato Wine Sauce

       (for Grouper, Halibut, or Hognose Snapper)

Ingredients:

     1 Large onion, coarsely chopped
4 tablepoons Butter
1 tablespoon Oil
1 large clove Garlic, minced
1 large stalk Celery, chopped
1 medium Green pepper, coarsely chopped
1 small Carrot, finely chopped or shredded
1 14 ounce can Tomato sauce
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
3/4 cup Dry white wine
1 Bay leaf
Old Bay Seafood seasoning
6- 4 to 5 ounce Grouper filet pieces, Hognose Snapper, Halibut
2 cups Rice

Instructions:

1. Saute onion in butter and oil in a large skillet
2. Add garlic, celery, green pepper, and carrot
3. Cook until tender/crisp
4. Stir in Tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, wine, bay leaf, and parsley
5. Simmer sauce for 1 hour, stirring occasionally
6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
7. Spray Pam into a shallow baking dish, large enough to hold fillets in a single layer
8. Arrange fillets in baking dish, season with Old Bay, and let stand while sauce cooks
9. Pour tomato sauce over fillets
10. Bake in oven at 350 degrees
11. Check after 12 minutes, and every five minutes until fish flakes easily
12. Serve over rice and enjoy.
.

 *Capt Hurshell Allen was a character, unlike other characters I’ve known, and was a dear friend of my great friend Steve Webb who retired to Sneads Ferry back in 1994 where he met ole Hurshell. Hurshell was a former marine from Camp Lejune who fell in love with Sneads Ferry and all the water in his backyard. He was more than an amateur photographer and a great singer. Legend has it, and is mostly true, that Hurshell discovered groupers in the deep water far from the coastline and was the foremost grouper fisherman in the Sneads Ferry area for many years. Prior to his discovery, groupers were caught mostly in Florida waters and thought to be an extremely southern fish. Back then, fishing holes were relocated by Loran’s and their co-ordinates were deep secrets written in spiral-bound notebooks. I remember those notebooks when off-shore fishing in the years before GPS location devices. Stealing that notebook was a killing offense once upon a time in a fishing village.

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