Baked Whole Snapper Basque Style

Yield:
6 servings
Level:
Easy
Ingredients
  • 4 pounds whole red snapper, scaled and gutted
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/4 cup Spanish olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 (1/4inch thick) slices of lemon
  • Sofrito:
  • 1/4 cup Spanish olive oil
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 6 canned plum tomatoes, drained and diced
  • 1/2 cup pimento stuffed green olives, rinsed, drained, and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or dry sherry
  • 2 dashes Tabasco
  • 2 tablespoons Spanish olive oil
  • 4 large red potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4inch thick
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small bunch flatleaf parsley, leaves only, chopped
Directions

Rinse the fish in cold water and pat it dry inside and out with paper towels. Place it on a shallow glass or ceramic platter. Sprinkle the fish inside and out with salt, pepper, and lime juice. Whisk the olive oil and garlic together and pour over the fish, rubbing it into the skin on both sides. With a very sharp knife, make 3 incisions right down to the bone and insert a lemon slice in each one. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for several hours.

To make the sofrito, heat the olive oil over low heat in a large heavy skillet. Add the onions and bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes or until translucent. Add the tomatoes, olives, salt, oregano, and wine and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the sauce is thickened, stir in the Tabasco and remove from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and set a rack in the upper middle position. Rub a large roasting pan with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and lay the sliced potatoes in 4 overlapping lines to make a square. Season them generously. Wrap the tail of the snapper in foil and lay the fish on top of the potatoes. Drizzle the remaining tablespoon olive oil over the top. Bake until the fish is done through and flaky, about 45 minutes. Reheat the sofrito over low heat for the last 8 to 10 minutes of the cooking time.

Slide the fish onto a large oval platter and arrange the potatoes at the top and bottom of the platter. Spoon the tomato sauce along the sides and remove the foil from the tail. Sprinkle the parsley over all and serve.


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