Seems like just a few days since I sat here and posted whatever it was that I posted, but I know looking at the date it has been more than a little while. Son3 just graduated from high school and April and May flew by at warp speed. It felt like we moved from one event to another with little time in between to do much more than wash clothes for the next day. I know that in September I will be sad to have so much unstructured time on my hands, but for now we are glad the madness is over and our life is a dull roar.
Yesterday The Hub walked in from the office with a cooler full of fresh snapper. Thanks to his boss' successful fishing trip and the fact that snapper season just opened, we have enough for several meals. We had just eaten the last of the tuna from his trip in the spring, so this was such a pleasant surprise. His generosity is always so appreciated.
I had supper planned prior to finding out we had all the delicious fish, so we had it tonight. Since it is the softball finals we knew we wanted something we could eat quickly, but how can you do that to fish that were swimming just 2 days ago? Then inspiration hit and we came up with the only thing you can do when you need portability and taste...fish tacos, but not some usual grill the fish and toss it on a hard shell type thing. Looking through about a dozen recipe sites I found this recipe for grilled Mexican Snapper and thought it might be decent ( OK, more then decent- my mouth was watering when I read the recipe) as the protein filling.
Red Snapper Yucatan Style
1 lb. skin on snapper filets
juice of 1 lime
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 dried cayenne pepper or 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
2 tablespoons achiote* seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seed
1 tablespoon dried oregano ( Mexican oregano if available)
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons canola oil
Before starting anything toast the whole seeds in a non stick pan over medium heat until the seeds give up their fragrance. ( About 3 minutes and you will truly be able to smell the heated oil in the seeds . I had a dried cayenne so I added it to the pan for about 2 minutes to toast it also) Either crush the seeds with a mortar and pestle or grind them in a spice grinder ( Or just be like me and just use the coffee grinder. After you finish grinding the spices put a piece of toast in the coffee grinder and grind away. The spice oils will stick to the bread crumbs and you can just wipe the insides with a couple of paper towels.)
Mix all the rest of the seasonings in a small bowl and stir in the ground seeds to combine well
Put the fish filets in a large plastic bag. Add the lemon and lime juice and mush it around all the surfaces of the fish. Add the oil to the spice mixture and rub it on the filets. If yours has skin on it you only need to put it on the cut surface. Mine were skinless when I got them so I put it on each surface. Seal the bag and let it sit in the fridge from 2-4 hours.
Preheat the grill to medium and OIL it both prior to the preheat and again right before the fish goes on it. Just before putting the fish on the grill either turn the heat down or move the charcoal so there is no direct source of heat right beneath the fish. OIl the skin side of the fish and put it on the grill for 10-12 minutes. Do not turn because the snapper will break and disappear through the grate right in front of your eyes. I cooked mine inside on a non-stick griddle. It only took about 4 minutes to cook them since I was able to flip them. ( Does sliding them onto a plate then inverting the griddle over the plate count as flipping?)
Remove from the heat and let it rest on the plate for about a minute. Meanwhile wipe the griddle clean and warm the tortillas while the fish rests. Put a light coating of Taco Bell Green Sauce on each tortilla. Then add fish, lettuce. tomato chunks, onions, cilantro and lime juice. Sadly we didn't have any cilantro but it would have been delicious.
Easy, easy, easy way to have your fish and really enjoy it!
Will try to be better about posting but guarantee nothing since we are having an unstructured summer!
* Anchiote seeds are also sold as annatto seed. Believe it or not, I actually had those in my spice cabinet. If you don't, you can find them in Mexican markets or Penzy's in Homewood