Many years ago, my family and I went to Easter dinner at a somewhat-fancy restaurant. While telling us the specials, in a non-specific European accent, the waiter remarked that the fish special, a red snapper was “a beautiful fish.”
My brother and I laughed at his comment and after placing our orders, spent some time imitating his declaration that the snapper was a “beeeeautiful feeesh.” Partially because of his sales job, I ordered the snapper, and when it arrived at our table, I could see exactly why the fish deserved that description. The fish was really good, and thanks to his description, it was one of the first times I ever thought of food as more than just something to eat.
Earlier this week, when grocery shopping, The Civee and I decided to get some red snapper, a fish that I have very little experience preparing, but one that I was eager to get on the grill.
While looking for recipies, nothing stood out–either we didn’t have all the ingredients, or involved more than grilling the fish. However, we were also having corn, and I remembered was one recipe that called for grilling the fish inside some corn husks. So I jotted down the procedure for using the husks and developed my own recipe using ingredients we had on hand at home.
There was one major deviation from the in-husk procedure that would probably be frowned upon by any serious culinary types. We didn’t have any rope with which to tie the husks, so I used the next best thing: a Swingline. I stapled together the husks (with enough room away from the fish), and it actually worked pretty well. And while I’m kicking myself for not taking a picture or two, the fish came out, as the waiter would say, “beautiful.” And just as important, it tasted good too.
For the salsa:
- Juice of two limes
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 2 roasted red peppers (jarred is okay), cubed
- -1/4 cup honey
- 1 bunch parsley, chopped
Combine ingredients, mix and refrigerate.
For the fish:
- Red snapper filets
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1 shallot, finely sliced
- Husks from ears of corn (1 ear per piece of fish)
Soak husks in cold water for at least 30 minutes.
Brush fish with oil (olive, canola, whatever you like).
Mix chili powder, pepper and salt and sprinkle over fish. place sliced shallots on top of the fish.
Strain the husks. Try to lay flat and place each piece of fish inside one (should be able to fit). place another corn husk on top. Tie (or staple) closed so each husk packet will hold the fish.
Grill over high heat, skin side down for 6 minutes. Turn over and grill for another two.
Remove fish from husks (being careful of staples if you used this method), serve topped with the salsa.