Saturday, July 6, 2013

Creole Red Snapper

Recently, we were on a Father's Day trip with my husband's extended family.  They took a deep sea fishing trip and limited out on Red Snapper, so you betcha we were going to cook them up.  The thing is, after getting up so early, and fishing all day in the heat, most of the "fisherman" promptly fell asleep.  So... what do do with these beautiful HUGE filets?  It had to be something fairly simple - since we were staying in condos with limited cookware, etc.  I wasn't sure of the palate's of some of the family members, so I was shooting for a balance for "regular" enough to feel safe for someone to try it without hesitation, but "exciting" enough to feel special. 

So this is what came out of the equation!  Oh my goodness... this may be one of my favorite fish preparations ever, and so easy!  Very moist and flavorful, but super easy!  I didn't have take any photos that day, but you'd better believe that I have recreated the dish for my family again since then!

When I say 3 filets, that's because each filet is so large that they take up a whole casserole dish each!  If you are using smaller fish filets, just adjust accordingly.

Click Here for Printable Recipe

Ingredients: (for 8 servings)
  • 3 large filets of red snapper
    • each one takes up a whole dish
  • 2 sticks of butter 
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp Creole seasoning
  • juice of one large lemon
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 Tbsp chopped chives
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano reggiano 

Step-by-Step:
Begin by preparing your sauce.  Super easy!
Into a medium sized sauce pan, melt butter and next seven ingredients together.
2 sticks butter (1 cup)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp Creole seasoning
juice of one large lemon
 (
2 Tbsp chopped chives (green onions would be fine, too)
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
These things will then magically transform into a fabulous sauce!
Brush this sauce liberally over both sides of the fish filets.  I like to first do one side...
Then flip that side "down" onto a bed of sliced onions or carrots, then brush the other side.  Why on a bed?  Well, the vegetables impart some additional flavor to the fish while it bakes, AND it does a very important job - which is to keep the fish up off of the bottom of the dish so it won't stick!!  Nothing is worst than making a beautiful piece of fish that you can't get off of the dish, or that tears apart when you try to unstick it!  My preference is sliced onions (round, like onion steaks), but on this particular day, I didn't have any.
So now, lets make the breadcrumbs.  If you have some Panko bread crumbs, these would be fine to use, but I didn't, so we made breadcrumbs.  Some dried out French bread works great, too. (The drier, the better!)  But like I said, if you don't have any, just make them.  Throw a few pieces of bread in the blender, and let it go!

Mix the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese into the remainder of the sauce.  We are going to turn this into a wonderfully seasoned paste that will bake on the top of the fish and create a crust!
1 cup bread crumbs
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano reggiano
Now, spoon that awesome cheesy breadcrumb paste onto the top of the filets, distributing it evenly among the fish.
 
This is how it will go into the oven.
And this is how it comes out!  WOW!!!   For these big filets, I baked them on 400 degrees F for 30 minutes.  The fish should be opaque and flake easily in the center with a fork.  For smaller fish filets, adjust your cooking time.
I garnished with a little extra fresh chives and thin lemon slices.  Each person can squeeze a little lemon over their portion.  Each of these filets is probably enough for 3 adult portions.  They were HUGE!

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Written Method:
Begin by preparing your sauce. Into a medium sized sauce pan, melt butter and next seven ingredients together.  These things will then magically transform into a fabulous sauce!  Brush this sauce liberally over both sides of the fish filets.  I like to first do one side...Then flip that side "down" onto a bed of sliced onions or carrots, then brush the other side.  Why on a bed?  Well, the vegetables impart some additional flavor to the fish while it bakes, AND it does a very important job - which is to keep the fish up off of the bottom of the dish so it won't stick!!  Nothing worst than making a beautiful piece of fish that you can't get off of the dish, or that tears apart when you try to unstick it!  My preference is sliced onions (round, like onion steaks), but on this particular day, I didn't have any.

So now, lets make the breadcrumbs.  If you have some Panko bread crumbs, these would be fine to use, but I didn't, so we made breadcrumbs.  Some dried out French bread works great, too. (The drier, the better!)  But like I said, if you don't have any, just make them.  Throw a few pieces of bread in the blender, and let it go!  Mix the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese into the remainder of the sauce.  We are going to turn this into a wonderfully seasoned paste that will bake on the top of the fish and create a crust!  

Now, spoon that awesome breadcrumb, cheesy paste onto the top of the filets, distributing it evenly among the fish.  For these big filets, I baked them on 400 degrees F for 30 minutes.  The fish should be opaque and flake easily in the center with a fork.  For smaller fish filets, adjust your cooking time.  Garnish with a little extra fresh chives and thin lemon slices.  Each person can squeeze a little lemon over their portion.  Each of these filets is probably enough for 3 adult portions.  They were HUGE!

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