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Simple Red Snapper

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

So I came to the Gulf to visit my girlfriend. I went to the local fish dealer and picked up some scallops and a whole red snapper which they filleted, boneless and skinless. I saved the seperated bits of the fish. The only problem is, I have no idea what to do with it. I was hoping to utilize everything I bought. I was hoping to make a stock out of the carcass. Any advice on how to make a simple dish out of this? I can't bake it because her oven is temporarily out. I can make a stop to the local market for a few other odds and ends.

post #2 of 8

A quick stock out of the bones. Cover with water, a little white wine if you have it, a little onion, celery and a carrot. bay leaf,peppercorn and thyme. Simmer for about half hour, strain, reduce. 

Cut fish into portion size. Poach in stock, wine, salt and pepper. Or season with salt and pepper, sear in hot oil, turn heat down, a little moisture, cover ten minutes or till done. Lemon juice is a nice addition for fish. 

Use stock and or poaching liquid to make sauce by reducing, swirl in butter at the end. Fresh herbs if you have some. 

Plenty of snapper recipes on line. 

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the help! i know there are a million and one recipes on red snapper but when it came to how well of a stock it made, i wasn't sure if it would be bad. I intend on using the whole carcass. I'm assuming it would be sanitary to clean the guts out of the fish right? I've never cooked fish before so I wouldn't know. I know fish and acids pair well as this is an acid-base reaction. I don't have wine but I have some torpedo IPA. You think a little beer as an alternative acid source would wreck the dish? Just an afterthought...

post #4 of 8

If you haven't already made dinner....

Generally don't use skin in the stock, just bones. If they filleted it for you, you shouldn't have any guts. But yes, you want to clean the guts out of any fish. The IPA would make a good experiment. Don't get too caught up thinking about acid/ base reactions right away. Lemon and wine just taste good with fish. That's all. Try the beer and see how it goes. Fish cooks pretty quick no matter how you cook it. 

Cooking is both simple and complicated. Simple because you cook something until it looks like something you want to eat. If it is not done enough, cook it some more. If it is over done, don't do that next time. When it is cooked, eat it. If it doesn't taste good, it might need salt and pepper. If you like it, congratulations. 

Cooking is complicated because there are many variables for everything and endless opportunities to be creative. But for now just focus on simple cooking processes. 

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you thank you thank you for the help! This forum really is the most prompt and helpful of all that I'm in. I am just about to attempt dinner. I didn't get a good look at the fish as it was wrapped up but it seems pretty gutless. I'll make sure not to use the skin, only meaty bones and the head. I'll hold off on the IPA for now. I'll make the stock as you described and poach. Seems simple and safe which is what I need to do to impress my lady! Thanks again for the help.
post #6 of 8

How did everything turn out?

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Well, to be perfectly honest it went pretty bad. She had fewer kitchen utensils than I had expected. Her stove is gas and mine is glass top. She doesn't own a cutting board. Things like that and not being in my kitchen threw me off, especially when trying a dish or style I haven't really done before. I just need to practice practice practice.  I made myself feel better last night by grilling steaks for me and a few friends. Thanks for your help in spite of my shortcomings. I will most certainly try it again soon. 

post #8 of 8

In an episode of Cooking with Julia and Jacques series, Julia Child did a nice poached red snapper with mushrooms and a very simple take on beurre blanc.  FWIW, the poaching liquid was a simple fish fumet (such as the one you already tried) fortified with Vermouth.  On the same show, Pepin did a sole Provencale which was also quite nice.  


You can find both red snapper recipes archived here.  Each recipe was designed for beginning cooks and each is simple enough to fit comfortably within your wheelhouse.  Child's recipe would probably work better for you than Pepin's as an "impress the girlfriend" sort of dinner because of the silky butter sauce; but take a look at both recipes.  

Now that you've been in her kitchen, you have a pretty good idea of what she does and doesn't have.  Don't be embarrassed about bringing whatever equipment and additional ingredients you need to feel comfortable. 


Don't let the gas stove give you problems.  They're very straightforward and far more responsive than a glass cook top.



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