Ever since the visit to the Chinese market for the durian purchase, I could not get an image of fresh red snapper that I spotted in the seafood section out of my mind. I knew I that I wanted to have it and that I wanted to cook it whole. I was throwing around French-themed recipes in my mind. Tony on the other hand, after having a taste of a salsa verde that I made recently, insisted that I somehow incorporate it with the fish. So I decided to go with a Cuban theme instead. Also a perfect excuse for mojitos.
For this Cuban-themed meal, the fish was marinated with lime juice, stuffed with onions and cilantro, and then baked whole. I made an okra ragout, also drizzled with lime juice and sprinkled with fresh cilantro. Red snapper is sort of a blank canvas fish that takes well to a variety of seasonings, including spicy seasonings. As a result, a very spicy, serrano-infused, salsa verde was served on the side as a sauce to accompany the fish. And, of course, mojitos. The lime was the common ingredient in every recipe.
In addition, this week we are trying something slightly different with the recipes. Each recipe posted this week will be part of the complete dinner meal, so that at the end of the week you will have a main course, a side dish, a salsa, and a drink. Today we are posting the recipe for the baked red snapper. Come back tomorrow for the okra ragout (pictured above with the fish). On Thursday there will be a recipe for salsa verde, and instead of a wine tasting on Friday, a mojito recipe.
Baked Red Snapper
You will need:
2 small red snapper (1 lb or less), gutted and cleaned
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/4 cup cilantro sprigs
1/2 cup red onion, julienned
2 tbsp olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F, positioning the rack in the middle of the oven.
2. Rinse each fish under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Carefully pour the lime juice over each fish, getting the juice all over, inside and out. Then rub the fish with sea salt and black pepper, inside and out. Make three incisions on the side of each fish, deep enough to reach the bone. Stuff the inside of each fish with sliced onion and cilantro sprigs.
3. On a shallow baking pan, place two sheets of aluminum foil large enough to wrap each fish. Use 1 tbsp of olive oil to grease the top of each sheet. Place the fish onto the greased side of individual foil sheets, and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Wrap each fish in the foil, somewhat snugly, leaving a small opening for ventilation. Bake the fish for 15-20 minutes, until no longer pink and flakes easily. Remove from foil and serve immediately.