A FAMILIAR/GOOD PLACE #STUFFED WHOLE SNAPPER

Once again, I revisited a heartwarming and good place. It not only satisfied and warmed my stomach, but it gave pleasure to my anticipating taste buds. Yes, guys, I’m talking about good/’ole’, Fishing!

Love a snapper in its whole form.  That simply means the head, tail, bones, and its beautiful body. Such an adventure to devour.  Recently, I pan-fried one and was greatly happy. Figured I would journey to that awesome place. This time, I stuffed my ‘big boy’ with fresh thyme.

Pan fried snapper in a flavored garlic oil consisting of olive/canola. Then placed it in sweet/sour pickle sauce. This absorbed all the mouth-watering flavors. Served up same on a bed of garlic spinach and fluffy Jasmine rice.

Oh, I was super happy!

I SEE SIGNS OF A #GRILLED CORN SALAD

In my neck of the woods (So. Florida), the temperatures are climbing. Without a doubt, the calendar might say otherwise; but, the sizzling days of summer have arrived and so are the crispy corns of summer.

Decided to honor one of summer’s wholesome foods by grilling a couple corns on the cob.

GRILLED CORN ON THE COB
GRILLED CORN ON THE COB

As I removed the kernels, I had to pull myself away from the sweet and crispy treats. I  nibbled on quite a few as they made their on the chopping board. These will be added into a warm bed of assorted veggies  consisting of:

  • mini sweet peppers of assorted colors
  • onions
  • scallion
  • celery
  • grape tomatoes

Then, I will season with a pinch of salt and black pepper. I will make a slightly sour and sweet dressing made from honey and a splash of vinegar along with finely chopped parsley.

I’m excited. Summer is here in my kitchen!

A TASTE OF HOME (JAMAICA) #PICKLED RED HERRING AND SAUTEED CABBAGE

So, over the week-end, I went a tad naughty and indulged in dish atypical of my weekly diet. All roads led me to a Jamaican experience. Needed something tasty and a little salty. Knew what I had to do. Didn’t have to venture far. Had left-over pickled red herring in close sight in refrigerator.

Because  the sodium content is high in pickled red herring, I made sure to extract same by repeatedly rinsing, boiling and soaking. After taste-testing, fish was simmered in: drizzle of coconut oil, sautéed onions, garlic, tomatoes, scotch bonnet peppers, crushed pimento, pinch of sugar, and splash of vinegar.

Served pickled red herring with a slightly sweet and sour sautéed cabbage with slices of nature’s butter (avocado). This gave a perfect balance to the pickled fish.

A SWEET/SOUR/SPICY SNAPPER FISH DISH

I had a couple of snapper fish left out for thawing overnight in refrigerator. Fast forward to this afternoon, they perched on the square plate looking firm yet limp awaiting my attention. Clearly, they were fully thawed and ready for action. Guys, to tell you the truth, I wasn’t in the mood for fish. That happens sometimes, my dear palate made a last-minute switch on yours truly. However, I knew I had to make a dish with same as I hate to re-freeze seafood.

Thank God, it was an unseasonable dry day. Finally, spring has arrived in South Florida, USA. The temperatures were mild (Florida-style) and the humidity was low. As I flung open my windows and sliding doors, I smiled and thought, “great day for fishing.” I hate to cook fish in an enclosed space. I made my merry way to my kitchenette and did a quick scoring of my fish. I seasoned with salt, black pepper and crushed garlic. My plan was to make a sweet, sour and spicy snapper dish.

As the beautiful fluttering Florida breeze hit my drapes, I dried my fish with paper towel and removed the trace of garlic. In a hot skillet with canola oil covering the bottom, fish was pan-fried on both sides with a stuffing of fresh thyme in the cavities for extra flavoring.

PAN-FRIED SNAPPER FISH
PAN-FRIED SNAPPER FISH

My plan was to cook a crispy exterior and flaky flesh. And bingo, that was accomplished. I drained the excess oil from fish on paper towel and then discarded the used oil from skillet. To skillet, I added a drizzle of oil under low heat and tossed in carrots,onions, finely chopped scotch bonnet pepper, thinly sliced lemon along with pimento seeds.

I made sure to season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Veggies were sautéed until they were translucent Then, I diluted a teaspoon of sugar, vinegar (mainly distilled/red wine) and fresh lemon juice. This was then added to veggies and simmered to a sticky, sweet, sour and spicy consistency.

As soon as I ladled this on the fish, they sucked up every square inch of the sauce. I allowed that to soaked up all the goodness and later paired on a bed of warm corn and purple cabbage succotash.

SWEET/SOUR/SPICY SNAPPER FISH ON A BED OF CORN/PURPLE CABBAGE SUCCOTASH
SWEET/SOUR/SPICY SNAPPER FISH ON A BED OF CORN/PURPLE CABBAGE SUCCOTASH

My palate surrendered and we both became united. To say that I was happy is an understatement; I was ecstatic with the final dish.

WENT FISHING!! #SCORED SNAPPER SLICES IN HOISIN SAUCE

I’m a huge lover of fish. It seems like I’ve consumed same a ‘million’ and one ways in various styles. I love it in the fillet form as well as  the whole fish with the beautiful head and its bones. That’s how many islanders, specifically Jamaicans love to consume their fish. We’re pros to this. And when I do devour it with the bones and head, I’ve to give undivided attention. If not careful, this could be risky ‘business’ (well, consumption).

UNCOOKED SNAPPER SLICES FOR PAN-FRYING AND INPUT IN HOISIN SAUCE
SEASONED SNAPPER SLICES FOR PAN-FRYING AND INPUT IN HOISIN SAUCE

Anyway guys, so I decided on cooking fish for supper. I made sure to score my fish slices so as to allow  the penetration of seasonings/spices within. Escoveitched fish was on my mind. What do you know? At the last moment I ‘flipped flopped’ and decided to go a tad oriental-style. I had some hoisin sauce left back from a few weeks ago when I cooked a chicken dish. I had not used it since, so It had been just perching there inside the refrigerator door as if to say, “pick me!” And I did.

The main ingredients in hoisin sauce are plum puree, soy, vinegar, sugar, miso (paste made from soybean) and others. It’s dark in color and possesses a combination of sweet and salty taste. This pungent and bold sauce is popularly used as a dipping sauce in many oriental eateries and kitchens.

First, I lightly dredged my fish slices and pan-fried them in a hot skillet with a combination of coconut and canola oil. After draining oil, julienned veggies were added to skillet. These were softened making sure to remove bits at the bottom of pan which only provided more enhancement to dish.

VEGGIES SIMMERING IN HOISIN SAUCE
VEGGIES SIMMERING IN HOISIN SAUCE

At this point, I added three teaspoons of hoisin sauce (a little goes a long way). Also, added to that were crushed pimento (all spice), drizzle of vinegar, thyme and a splash of water. Snapper slices were then placed back in skillet on low heat. This was allowed to simmer for approximately five minutes. Sauce was spooned on each pieces for even more absorption of sauce.

I served my hoisin fish with a warm cabbage and carrot slaw along with rice and red beans(not in pic). All the flavors and spices complimented each other. Moreover, the right amount of hoisin sauce was administered to dish so as to yield a succulent and delicious taste to fish.

WARM CABBAGE AND CARROT SLAW
WARM CABBAGE AND CARROT SLAW