Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Grilled Snapper with Tomatoes and Capers

When I told Ann that on Tuesday night, I had switched shifts and would be coming home in time to make dinner, she replied, "in the mood for something really light like a grilled fish with some tomatoes and capers." The hardest part of cooking, for me, is deciding what to make and it is always wonderful when I get this explicit direction.

So before I left the restaurant, I grabbed a bunch of cherry tomatoes, some capers, and a yellow squash. At the market on the way home, I grabbed some banana leaf and a 4-pound pink snapper, figuring that Carter would devour most of it. A 4-pound fish should yield slightly less than two pounds of meat.

At home, I cut up the tomatoes and minced some garlic. Half the garlic I reserved for the fish and the other half I put in the tomatoes along with a quarter cup of capers with some of their brine. To this, I added some extra virgin olive oil to make a quick tomato-caper salsa for the fish.

Scale, Slash, Rub with Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper, and Garlic
I laid out some banana leaf on a sheet tray and then scaled and slashed the snapper. After rubbing it with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic, I transferred the banana leaf and fish directly to a blazing hot grill and shut the lid.

After 20 Minutes, Fish Done, Banana Leaf Incinerated
Trying to grill skin-on fish on the grill is not a winning proposition, I have found, because the skin sticks to the grill bars and it proves nearly impossible to remove the fish from the bars without destroying it. The banana leaf provides great separation from the grill bars and as a bonus, provides a good smoke source. After ten minutes, I checked the fish and it was about half done. In another five, I put slabs of yellow squash on the grill and let them go for about 3 minutes before I turned off the gas and let everything sit for another 5-6 minutes just to mellow out.

Pink Snapper with Tomatoes and Capers; Yellow Squash

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