Recipe courtesy of Anthony Sicignano

Florida Cioppino with Grilled Lobster and Jalapeno Cheese Grits

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 30 min
  • Active: 1 hr 5 min
  • Yield: 2 servings
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3 cups milk

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

3/4 cup stone-ground white grits

1 cup Parmesan-Reggiano, grated

3 tablespoons roasted jalapeno peppers, diced

Grilled Florida Lobster

1 fresh Florida lobster, split and cleaned

1/4 cup slivered garlic

2 ounces extra-virgin olive oil

1 ounce unsalted butter

Juice of 1 lime

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup slivered garlic

1/2 cup peeled and diced heirloom tomatoes

1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes

12 Venus clams, washed

12 Florida pink shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 cup white wine

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

4 stone crab claws, knuckle meat removed and shell removed from the claw

Two 3-ounce lionfish fillets, cubed

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon fresh basil chiffonade

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon fresh mint chiffonade

1 lemon, halved


  1. For the grits: Combine the 3 cups water, the milk, 1 tablespoon of the butter, the salt and pepper in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring the liquid to a gentle boil. Stir in the grits. Cook for 1 hour 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The grits will stick to the bottom of the pan, so make sure not to scrape the bottom of the pan. If the grits absorbed all of the water, add some hot water to thin out the grits. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, the cheese and jalapeno peppers. The grits can either be served immediately or prepared in advance and reheated.
  2. For the lobster: Rub the lobster meat with the garlic, oil and butter and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Grill, body-side down at first, until cooked three-quarters of the way through; flip and grill meat-side down. Remove from the grill and squeeze over the lime juice.
  3. For the cioppino: Heat the olive oil in a saucepan until just about to the smoking point; quickly add the garlic, tomatoes and red pepper flakes. Saute until the garlic becomes translucent. Add the clams, cook for 2 minutes, then add the shrimp and the wine immediately after. Simmer until the shrimp and clams are halfway cooked, then add the butter, crab claws and knuckle meat and the lionfish. Cover and simmer until the fish is barely cooked through; season with salt and black pepper, and finish with the basil, parsley, mint and a spritz of fresh lemon juice.
  4. Reheat the grits, if needed, and place 2 cups grits into a large, deep platter. Arrange the cioppino around the grits, and garnish with the grilled lobster. Serve.

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