Red snapper provide beautiful fillets, rich and flavorful, and simplicity in preparation preserves the excellent qualities of the fish. The vinegar in the conserva offsets the pop of the jalapeños and provide a perfect complement to the sweet snapper.
Step-by Step Prep
- 6-ounce red snapper fillet (skin on),
- rosemary sprig, crushed garlic, bay leaf,
- canola oil, pat of butter
- Orange, red and green jalapeño peppers (three each, sliced thin)
- 18 garlic cloves (sliced thin)
- 1⁄2 cup vinegar
- 2 cups extra virgin olive oil
In a double boiler, combine the sliced peppers and garlic with the vinegar and bring the temperature to 100 to 120 degrees. Strain off the vinegar, cover peppers with the olive oil, and place in a warm spot for two hours. Keeps for 30 days and goes well with anything, from shrimp to pizza.
Just before cooking your snapper, use three parts water or broth to one part farro and add a bay leaf for flavor. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until desired texture is reached (at least 25 minutes).
Now, the Snapper
Heat the canola oil in a sauté pan just until smoking, then lay the fillet skin side down in the pan, turn down the heat and add a pat of butter. Baste it from the pan and press on the fillet as it cooks to prevent the skin from buckling. Cook on the skin side until the fish is 90 percent done and the skin is crispy, then flip it over and turn the heat to low. Lay the rosemary, garlic and bay leaf on the skin and baste with the cooking oil (over the herbs) to infuse the oil with the seasoning.
To serve, lay the fillet skin side down on a layer of farro on the plate and garnish with the jalapeño conserva.
Beer: Pale lager, such as Hotter Than Helles Lager from Cigar City Brewing
Wine: Dry German Riesling, such as Winnings Riesling from Von Winning Winery