Written by CHEF RORY SCHEPISI
Backyard Grilled Whole Red Snapper With a Caribbean Creole Oil
- 2 cleaned whole Snapper fish
- 1 cup olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 2 shallots, small dice
- 1 onion, small dice
- 1/4 red bell pepper, Julienne (very thinly sliced)
- 1/4 green bell pepper, Julienne (very thinly sliced)
- 1/2 Jalapeno Pepper, Julienne (very thinly sliced) *to give sauce extra spice
- Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- Fennel, thyme or rosemary sprigs (optional)
- Creole oil
- In a small pot heat oil, add garlic, shallot, and onion.
- Let lightly simmer until you can smell the garlic, shallots, and onions.
- This should take no more than 5 minutes.
- Add peppers. Remove oil from heat.
- Season with salt and pepper, stirring oil a few times.
- Let Creole oil come to room temp and set aside for later.
PREPARING YOUR GRILL
Prepare your grill by letting get to hottest temp it will go. You want your grill to be hot to help prevent your whole fish from sticking. Using old rags or a lot of paper towels lightly saturate them with vegetable oil or cheaper oil and wipe down grill grates while hot. Use tongs to hold towels so you don’t burn yourself. Your grill grates will start to smoke a bit if you are doing this correctly. Your grill is now ready to cook on.
PREPARING YOUR FISH
Take your cleaned fish and dry with paper towels. Using a sharp knife make three slits about 2 inches apart almost down to the backbone on both sides of fish. Using oil you made earlier, brush the fish with the infused oil. Just use the oil, do not disturb the onions, garlic, and peppers that will be sitting at the bottom of the oil. Brush the oil in the inside cavity of the fish as well. You can now place your herb sprigs in the inside cavity for extra flavor if you like. Season your fish with sea salt inside and out.
GRILLING YOUR FISH
Place your whole fish on the grill with the tail toward the area of your grill with the lowest heat. We do this because the head area of your fish will take longer to grill. Let fish cook about 8 minutes then turn you fish over and cook for another 8 to 10 minutes. Checking your fish at about 7 minutes to see how cooked it is. You will know your fish is done when the meat is opaque in color. Nice bright white. Remove from grill. Stir up your Creole oil and spoon onto fish starting at neck down to the tail. Serve with rice or fried plantains and this dish will bring you to the heart of the Caribbean.
*(This method of preparing and Grilling can be used for almost any whole fish)
COOL CHEF TRICK:
If you have some chopped herbs or even dried herbs, as soon as you turn your fish over sprinkle herbs on the grill, not the fish, to give a light herb infused smokiness.
Want more recipes like this? Be sure to check out CURVY Magazine Issue 03