Sunday, July 8, 2012


Red, White and Blue Snapper
The other day, my local fish monger had an abundant supply of whole red snapper. Also, he had some beautiful white and blue snapper steaks. I thought it would be interesting to cook them all and compare flavors, so I selected one whole mini red snapper, one white snapper steak and a blue snapper steak. Since it was the Fourth of July, how could I resist? 

I always make red snapper whole, usually steamed.  I have also made white snapper in fish soup recipes but never made a white snapper steak and have never made a blue snapper.   Although the red snapper was whole and the other two were steaks, they were all about the same thickness (although the photo looks decieving).  My idea was to cook the three fish together in olive oil, butter, fresh lemon and lime juice, garlic, fresh ginger, cilantro and slices of lemons and limes.

For the whole red snapper, I did the typical scores in each side of its flesh then added a slice of garlic, ginger and cilantro into each cut and also inside its cavity.  For each snapper steak, I brushed both with fresh lemon and lime juice, a sprinkling of pink salt and some pepper.

Then I placed a thin layer of olive oil into a pan and added each fish along with some more lemon and lime juice, garlic, ginger, and slices of fresh lemons and limes.  I also added several pats of butter onto each fish.  I put this trifecta into the oven, set at 425 degrees, for about 25 minutes. (A heat wave doesn't prevent me from cooking or turning on the oven.)

The end result was that all the fish were cooked perfectly and at the same temperature. They were tasty and moist and swimming (no pun intended) in their flavorful cooking juice.  Each one had its own unique texture and taste.  The red snapper was very lean and moist with a hint of sweetness.  The white snapper reminded me of Chilean sea bass where it had a very similar flakiness, texture and flavor.  And the blue snapper had a thicker flesh consistency with a much bolder taste similar to that of blue fish.  I served the dish with a mango salsa which was a perfect accompaniment.  The salsa was sweet with a little bit of heat.  I know. Mango salsa is not exactly a Fourth of July dish, but it is always associated with hot climates.  And it was a heat wave.  And it worked.
Cooked Fish.  Not picture perfect, but taste is perfect
Although I don't think that red, white and blue snapper(s) would be a selection on a regular basis, I believe that this combination of ingredients and cooking method worked extremely well and could certainly be used for any fish that has a similar consistency to snapper. 

For the snapper:
One small whole red snapper
One white snapper steak
One blue snapper steak
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sliced garlic
1/2 cup sliced ginger
1/2 cup cilantro - some chopped and some leaves
4 slices of fresh lemon
4 slices of fresh lime
1/4 cup olive oil
6 pats of butter
Pink salt
Mango Salsa
For the Mango Salsa, I combined the following:
2 mangos, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 cup of red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup green onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon of green chili pepper, seeded and chopped
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1/2 teaspoon lime zest

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