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Southwest Stuffed Red Snapper
Ask your fishmonger to remove the bones but leave the head and tail on for a pretty presentation. This is good with rice flavored with cumin and tomatoes and a mild salsa. The fish also can be cooked over charcoal for about 10 minutes on each side.
1/2 pound chorizo
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 red bell pepper, cut into small dice (1 cup)
11/2 cups crumbled corn bread
1 large scallion or 3 small, cleaned, trimmed, and minced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
One 31/2- to 4-pound whole red snapper, boned and butterflied
Preheat the oven to 425*F.
Remove the sausage from its casing and put the meat in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring and breaking up the sausage, until most of its fat has been released, about 5 minutes. Remove the sausage to paper towels to drain.
Pour off the fat from the skillet and return the pan to the heat. Add
1 teaspoon of the oil and the red pepper to the pan, and cook, stirring until the pepper is soft, about 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in
the corn bread, scallion, and cilantro, taking care not to break up the bread too much.
Open the fish up on the work surface and spoon the stuffing onto one side, leaving about 1 inch at the outer edge uncovered; close the fish. (If it seems necessary, the opening may be secured with 2 or 3 toothpicks, but the amount of stuffing should not be so much as to prevent the fish from closing.) Brush a baking sheet and the top side of the fish with the remaining teaspoon of oil. Bake the fish on the oiled baking sheet for 20 to25 minutes, just until the flesh flakes when tested and is no longer opaque.
Salmon Filled with Fresh Artichokes
The only challenge to preparing this dish is to slice the artichokes and other filling ingredients very thin. If they are, all will finish cooking in the same time, with the fish succulent and just a bit of bite left in the artichokes. The yellow tomato is the best choice because its low acidity will not alter the flavor of the artichokes, but plum tomatoes are a fine substitute.
One 3-pound or two 11/2-pound fresh whole fish (such as salmon, red snapper, or bluefish), cleaned and boned but with head and tail left on
2 globe artichokes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 yellow tomato, or 2 or 3 firm but ripe plum tomatoes, very thinly sliced
1 large clove garlic, sliced paper thin
Leaves from a good-size branch of rosemary
Preheat the oven to 450*F.
Wash the fish carefully and pat it dry with paper towels; place towels in the cavity to absorb any excess moisture.
Cut the lemon in half, add the juice and lemon half to a bowl of cold water. Cut away the stem of the artichokes and tear away and discard the outside leaves until the very pale inner leaves are exposed. Trim the tops about
11/2 inches above the bottom; cut away the rough edges of the bottom.
Cut the trimmed artichokes in half, then into quarters. Remove the chokes from the centers. Slice each quarter as thin as possible and drop the pieces into the lemon water. Squeeze the juice from the remaining lemon half into a bowl, add the olive oil and salt and pepper, and whisk to combine. Drain the artichokes and pat them dry with paper towels. Toss the artichoke slices in the lemon-oil mixture.
Open the fish up to lay flat on the work surface and remove the paper towels. Lay half the tomato slices on one side, overlapping them slightly; lay half the garlic slices over the tomato slices. With your hands or a slotted spoon, lift the artichoke slices, letting the excess lemon-oil mixture fall back into the bowl; spread the artichokes over the garlic in a thick layer. Place the remaining garlic slices, then the remaining tomato slices over the artichokes, sprinkle with the rosemary leaves and bring the other side of the fish over to cover the stuffing.
Lightly brush a baking sheet with some of the remaining lemon-oil mixture, place the filled fish on it, and brush the top with more of the mixture. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the flesh is no longer opaque when tested and the skin is browned.