Sometimes the best meals are happy accidents. Discover a great dish at book club. Stumble across something delicious at a local café.
Buy a whole red snapper on a whim.
Locally we have a seafood truck that comes up once a month from Texas. Jumbo shrimp. Quarts of shucked oysters. Never frozen. Need I say more?
Unfortunately, I never seem to be around when the truck comes. So when I was available last month, I took it as a sign.
My plans were to buy shrimp and oysters—and they were indeed lovely. But the red snapper (that they weren’t even supposed to have) ended up the hit of the shopping trip! I adapted my recipe for Grilled Whole Red Snapper from Food and Wine and it was actually quite easy once I got past the I’m-cooking-a-fish-whole jitters.
I just made some slices into the flank of the fish, smeared the cuts with an herb mixture, drizzled with oil, salt and pepper, then grilled. To round out the meal I sautéed some thinly sliced peppers and onions then served with fettuccini in garlic butter.
It disappeared completely and my family was picking at the bones… Grilled Whole Red Snapper? Yes!
- 1 whole red snapper, cleaned and scaled
- 1 tablespoon oil
- Salt, pepper
- Herb rub (see below)
- • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
- • 2 tablespoons salted capers, rinsed and finely chopped
- • 2 garlic cloves, minced
- • pinch crushed red pepper
- • Pinch of salt
- • 1 tablespoon oil
- Chop and mix the dry rub ingredients together. Transfer the paste to a small bowl and stir in the oil.
- Make parallel angled slashes on each side of the snapper about 1 – 1 ½ inches apart, slicing almost through to the bone. Fill the slashes with the herb paste. Drizzle the fish all over with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Preheat your grill on medium-high. Secure the red snapper in a grill rack. Roast for about 10 minutes on each side, until the flesh just flakes. (For safest cooking, use an instant read thermometer and cook to 145 F per the FDA; other sites suggest 135 F).
- Transfer the cooked fish to a platter, using oven mitts to handle grill rack. To serve, slice the fish along the herb lines and slide a server along the bones to separate the flesh. Serve warm.
- Sheet Pan Salmon with Roasted Tomatoes and Spinach
- Five Ingredient Homemade Caramel Dip (or Syrup)