PROUD OF MY CATCH#SNAPPER SWEET/SOUR VEGGIES

It was the perfect set-up. Finally, summer temperatures took a nose-dive and in came showers and a refreshing feel of winter Florida-style. I went with the flow and flung open my doors and windows. I had a plan; a perfect plan for supper.

I went to my kitchen and went surfing. And what did I fetch? Oh, one of my faves, a firm and hearty snapper I had previously caught (purchased) at the fish market. Decided to pan-sear the big guy. But first, I seasoned with salt and pepper after I dried him.

I felt such a perfect alliance that I also stuffed him with fresh thyme I had on hand. In a sturdy hot skillet, I poured canola oil with a clove of garlic for extra flavoring. Garlic was then tossed. With a very light sprinkle of whole-wheat flour on both sides of fish, I immersed in skillet.

PAN-SEARED SNAPPER
PAN-SEARED SNAPPER

Snapper was pan-seared on both sides for approximately five minutes. I removed same from pan and drained excess oil. To that, I added julienned veggies (onions, bell peppers, etc). I made sure to seasoned along with a pinch of salt and black pepper. After they softened, a squeeze of honey, drizzle of vinegar and a splash of water were added.

I allowed these to simmer under low heat. Then it was time. Snapper was added back to skillet in order to soak up all the aromatic flavors of this sweet and sour bed.

PAN-SEARED SNAPPER WITH SWEET/SOUR VEGGIES AND SAUCE
PAN-SEARED SNAPPER WITH SWEET/SOUR VEGGIES AND SAUCE

I made sure not to overcook my big boy; thus, I removed him from the heat.

Snapper was paired with a creamy serving of polenta (tun cornmeal) along with a crispy garlicy side dish of brussels sprouts and broccoli.

POLENTA (TUN CORNMEAL)
POLENTA (TUN CORNMEAL)
GARLIC BROCCOLI AND BRUSSELS SPROUTS
GARLIC BROCCOLI AND BRUSSELS SPROUTS

As the precipitation hit my patio rails, I grabbed my big boy catch and his side guys, I was in culinary heaven.

FINISHED DISH
FINISHED DISH

 

A RUSTIC MOOD #GRILLED WHOLE SNAPPER AND VEGGIES

Though the temperatures are flirting in the triple digits, it’s evident that summer is disappearing before my eyes. I guess the dwindling days have placed me in a grilling frame of mind.I couldn’t help myself. Didn’t have the craving for nothing else so I fired up my indoor grill pan. I was on a mission. I intended to grill everything in sight. My poor scotch bonnet pepper wasn’t going escape the cooking process.

Had me a whole snapper fish for roasting; however, that plan was quickly altered. With glee I scored my fish and seasoned with a sprinkle of black pepper, salt and crushed garlic. I made sure to season inside the head (love me the head) and cavity.

When it was time to grill I removed garlic and drizzled with olive oil inside and out and stuffed fresh tarragon and thyme within for more intense flavors. I also chopped an onion, wedges of  different color bell peppers and okra.

PREPPING SNAPPER AND VEGGIES FOR GRILLING
PREPPING SNAPPER AND VEGGIES FOR GRILLING

I made sure to do a quick one minute pre-cook of the hearty okra before I brushed same and other veggies with a warm tarragon and thyme oil. First, I started with the veggies.

VEGGIES ON GRILL
VEGGIES ON GRILL

I removed the okra and onions and sprinkled a very light layer of whole-wheat flour to prevent fish from sticking.

SNAPPER FISH AND VEGGIES ON GRILL
SNAPPER FISH AND VEGGIES ON GRILL

I smiled as I also added scotch bonnet pepper in on the action. My snapper needed a few minutes internal cooking But first, I removed the other veggies. Then, I placed it in the oven for another five minutes at 360 degrees with the squeeze of fresh lime.

My fish came out  a little crusty on the outside and quite flaky within. Each bite was full of amazing flavors that were spicy and lemony. The tarragon and the thyme gave the snapper an even more flavorful and aromatic taste. As for the veggies, the grilling brought out all the natural sugars that reminded me of summer. On the side, a creamy/cheesy polenta (turned cornmeal) was served.

PAN-FRIED LEMON SNAPPER FISH WITH CREAMY POLENTA/JAMAICAN SPINACH (CALLALOO)

This dish brings me back to my roots (my Jamaican roots). However, I’ve tweaked it a bit. Before I fried fish, I infused oil(combination of canola/coconut) with garlic, pimento(all spice) and thyme on low heat. Then I pan-fried fish and generously squeezed fresh lemon. Instead of a mainly vinegar-based topping of escovitch sauce, I incorporated fresh orange/lemon juice along with a drizzle of vinegar, pinch of sugar, salt and cracked black pepper. Onions,sweet bell peppers, scotch bonnet peppers were then added to sauce for a spicy and tangy finish.

In Jamaica, we have a cornmeal dish called “Turned cornmeal”. This was a staple in my household as a child. I must have consumed this dish dozens of time. There are different variations to the dish. However, it’s consisted of cornmeal, fresh coconut milk, seasoning of finely chopped onions, scallion and bell peppers. I made a slight tweak to this dish by adding shredded parmesan cheese. I guess Italy was on my mind.

For me, no dish is complete without a side of veggie. So, I served a delicious side of steamed callaloo (Jamaican spinach).A fresh ginger/apple/Jamaican rum martini completed the dish. Yeah mon!