My last tryst with cooking seafood was a luscious Crab Meat Fried Rice which was the first recipe in my Off The Hook series. I have teamed up with these amazing seafood specialists at Off The Hook to collaborate and produce some simple non intimidating recipes using their beautiful produce. This recipe is dedicate to a delicate fish called the Red Snapper. I’m not someone who likes cleaning fish so when I was given the choice, I opted for the fish to be scaled, cleaned and cut into fillets for me so then I don’t end up butchering it at home. What I received where two packs of clean fish and what I was pleasantly surprised to see what that they did not discard the head, it came cleaned which is ideal for curries as well since there is loads of flavour in the head.
This recipe is simple and can be done on the stove, you don’t need an oven or any fancy gadgets. While the recipe is essentially the fish, I like to eat my meat with some form of carb and not just greens because I feel it adds value to my meal so I’ve skipped the obvious choices of rice and pasta ( of course you could if you like ) and opted for a fresh vibrant couscous salad. Hope you enjoy this recipe and if you do end up trying it at home leave me a comment I’d love to know how it turns out ! Happy Cooking!
For The Snapper and Marinade
Red Snapper Fillets
4 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 tablespoon melted butter ( melt it in the microwave )
2 tablespoon Mustard
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon ground pepper
2 teaspoon Paprika/Cayenne powder ( if you don’t have any chili powder will do )
2 teaspoon of Chili Flakes
4 Cloves of crushed garlic ( can use garlic powder if you like )
1 teaspoon of vinegar ( rice wine or any of your choice just try and avoid palm )
A bunch of finely chopped celery leaves
Juice of 1 – 2 limes
For The Couscous
1 cup of couscous ( any packet variety that you like )
1 cup of hot boiling water
5-6 Chopped Almonds
5-6 Chopped Pistachio
5-6 Chopped Cranberries
1 Cup of chopped mushrooms
1 Cup of cut broccoli
1 celery stalk ( cut the stem and leaves separately )
3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
2 Tablespoon of lime juice
1 Teaspoon of Chili flakes
3 Cloves of chopped or crushed garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste
To First Make The Couscous
I would say just follow the instructions on your packet but I find sometimes the measurement is off. What works for me is a 1:1 equal ratio of couscous and water. I measure out a cup of couscous and add it to a bowl. I measure out a cup and a little more of water and heat it on the stove. Water evaporates when you heat so that little extra is to allow that. Once it reaches a rolling boil turn off the flame and add that water to your couscous. Cover with a lid and let it sit while you work on the rest.
In a pan add a teaspoon of olive oil, you can add a little butter as well for flavour or just stick to the oil. Add the chopped garlic and chili flakes and let them infuse in the oil and butter for a couple of seconds. Then add the mushroom broccoli and celery stalks and mix well till them cook. Towards the end add the celery leaves and turn off the flame in a minute. Let this this cooked mixture cool for a few minutes so it’s not piping hot.
By now the couscous is ready so you can remove the lid and with a fork just gently fluff the cous cous. Transfer it into your serving bowl and add the cooked vegetable mixture. Add all the chopped nut and mix well. To make a dressing add the olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper in and toss it like a salad. It can be served warm or you can serve it cold as well. Which ever way you like.
For The Red Snapper
Now ideally I would say use snapper fillets and like I’ve mentioned I asked Off The Hook to cut it for me to make it simpler so I don’t need to clean. In case you don’t have fillets I suggest you cut the fish because you need manageable pieces and it’s tricky to cook the fish whole. Please defrost the fish properly so you’re not cooking with ice cold produce.
In a large bowl make your marinade by adding all the ingredients mentioned ( except the fish ) and mix well so it becomes a liquid marinade.
Take the pan that you’re going to use and start to heat it on the flame. Now ideally you don’t really need to grease your pan because the fish will have oil from the marinade specially if this is a non stick pan like I used but if you want to be extra safe then you can grease the pan slightly. I did initially because I wasn’t too sure. Let the pan slowly heat up on a low flame while you coat the fish in your marinade.
Unlike chicken or any meat the fish doesn’t need to be marinated for hours or over night. So just take a piece at a time dip it in the marinade, make sure all sides are generously coated in the mixture and gently place them in the pan to cook. If your pan is big or if the pieces are small enough you can do more than one at a time, but do what is comfortable for you. My pieces were slightly large and initially I had trouble flipping them so I did them one at a time but slowly I did two. You need to let it cook for about 5 – 6 mins on either side. I would say you can vary the time depending on how hot your pan gets or as you see the fish cook but 5 minutes per side is good. If you want those grilled marks maybe a little longer.
Once cooked take it out and plate it up, serve with the couscous. Some pieces tend to go cold by the time you finish them all if you do it one at a time so I suggest a quick pop in the microwave before you serve just to warm the fish. The couscous as I said can be served whichever way you like.
Disclaimer : This post was done as part of an on going series. It is in collaboration with Off The Hook a seafood specialist in Mumbai that offers incredible produce that I have fallen in love with. As always, thoughts, ideas and recipes are my own.
For more updates on my food and travel adventures, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat : thetinytaster