Key West Snapper With Mango Salsa
Key West Snapper is a real delicacy. I have had the pleasure of fishing with Desi Perez twice. the first time I booked his No Doubt Charter was in July of 2021 with Shannon and Dan Honl. We fished primarily for mangrove snapper. In September of 2022, I fished with him again, in the company of Ducks Unlimited colleagues. We caught yellowtail snapper. These fish have delicate, white flesh. The flavor is very mild and a perfect canvas for a variety of flavors. This recipe is a modified version of a recipe by Chef Dennis Littley on his site, www.askchefdennis.com.
Ingredients for Key West Snapper With Mango Salsa
For The Fish
8 snapper filets
egg wash made with 2 eggs and a bit of milk, whisked together
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cajun seasoning or Caribbean jerk seasoning
salt and pepper
2 tbsp canola oil
For The Salsa
1 cup diced mango
1 cup diced pineapple
1 cup diced strawberries
2 TBSP chopped fresh chives
2 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp chives chopped
2 TBSP fresh lime juice
pinch of salt
For The Tequila Butter Sauce
4 TBSP butter
1 TSP brown sugar
2 TBSP Tequila
Juice from 1 lime
First prepare the salsa. There is a fair amount of chopping involved here. So, you will want to have this ready when the fish is done. Mix all the ingredients together and set aside.
Next, prepare the fish. Add the cajun or jerk seasoning to the flour and mix well. Prepare three bowls for dredging the rinsed and dried filets. One bowl will contain the flour seasoning mixture, one the egg wash, and one the panko. Dredge the filets first in the flour, then egg wash, then the panko. Take a light hand here. The fish should be very lightly coated. Brown the fish in the medium hot canola oil. I use a non-stick, high quality frying pan for this. Add more oil if needed. Turn the fish when the coating on the underside is browned and crispy. Sprinkle a light amount of salt and pepper on. When the second side is browned remove to a warm platter. Take care to cook the fish only till barely done. 135 degrees on your Thermapen. It will continue to cook off the heat. You do not want to dry it out.
Finally, make the butter sauce, by melting half the butter in a sauté pan. Add the brown sugar and combine. Add the tequila and lime juice and finish with the last of the butter. Simmer, lightly until slightly thickened.
You will want to have all your go-withs ready when the fish is ready. We served this with oven roasted red potatoes and a green salad. Rice and beans or coconut rice would be excellent with this.
For you, Wisconsin anglers, this would be good with walleye, perch or gills.