Recipe courtesy of Coolinary Cafe

Cornmeal Snapper with Chow Chow and Smoky Habanero Aioli

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  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 2 hr 20 min
  • Active: 1 hr 10 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings


Roasted Garlic:

Chow Chow:

Habanero Hot Sauce:

Smoky Habanero Aioli:

Cornmeal Snapper:

Green Tomatoes:


  1. For the roasted garlic: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place cloves in a small oven-safe dish. Cover with oil and then foil. Roast 45 minutes.
  3. For the chow chow: Meanwhile, preheat a grill to medium heat.
  4. Grill the corn in the husks, then shuck and cut the kernels from the cobs. In a medium bowl combine corn, Tomatoes and bell peppers. In a separate bowl, combine vinegar, granulated sugar, salt, granulated garlic, granulated onion, pepper, lemon juice and zest and 2 1/2 ounces water. Add to vegetable mixture. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  5. For the habanero hot sauce: Combine habaneros, granulated sugar, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper and just enough water to cover in a small pot. Cover and cook on medium heat until peppers are tender and liquid is almost gone. Remove and let cool. Blend until smooth.
  6. For the smoky habanero aioli: Combine eggs, lemon juice, mustard, vinegar and 2 tablespoons roasted garlic together in a tall container or wide mouth jar. Using a stick blender, slowly add oil until combined. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons habanero hot sauce. 
  7. For the cornmeal snapper: Combine cornmeal, cornstarch, paprika, granulated garlic and onion, oregano, salt, pepper and 2 cups flour in a medium bowl and mix well.
  8. Set up standard breading station: A dish with the remaining 2 cups flour, a dish with egg wash, and the cornmeal mixture.
  9. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or in a Dutch oven fitted with a deep-fry thermometer to 350 degrees F.
  10. Coat snapper in flour, then egg, then cornmeal. Fry snapper until golden in color and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes.
  11. To serve, spoon aioli on the plate and place snapper directly on top. Serve chow chow on the side.

Green Tomatoes:

  1. Combine green tomatoes, cider vinegar, brown sugar, granulated sugar, white vinegar, salt, mustard seeds, pepper and 2 1/4 cups water.

Cook’s Note

This recipe can be substituted with most any white flaky fish and even shrimp. Always try to buy fresh and local. And always shop at a reputable seafood market or vendor.