Food, Recipes

Making-Of Baked Red Snapper Recipe

Did you know that one bit of ceviche or baked red snapper packs more than just its amazing taste? On top of many dietitian list, fish is considered to be very healthy for you because it is lower in fat. The low fat part makes fish a more appetizing protein, but it also holds as well a key ingredient for good health, Omega-3 fatty acids. Unfortunately those fatty acids cannot be produced by the human body, so they are acquired by eating vegetables, nuts, flax seeds, flaxseed oil, leafy vegetables, and lastly fish.

Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats with following three main types:

  • Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA), found in plant oils, flax seed oil, flax seeds, leafy vegetables and nuts.
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), found in fish.

The human body needs omega-3 fatty acids because besides being a part of cell membranes, these acids also affect the functionality of the cell receptors in these membranes. The production of certain hormones can start to regulate body functions because of the acids. Diet rich in fish has the following benefits and more:

  • Maintain a Healthy Heart: A study shows that people who have a diet rich in fish are less prone to develop heart disease by lowering the blood pressure and the cholesterol.
  • Improve Skin and Hair: Omega-3 fatty acids help improve hair quality and density, and also protect the skin from sunburn and ultra-violet effects.
  • Boost Brain Development: Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids, in particular DHA, help with building brain cell membranes, and reduce inflammation. In addition, it helps with cognitive and behavioral functioning of the brain.

There are many other benefits for a diet rich in fish, but let us not get carried away. Keep in mind that the quantity of omega-3 fatty acid also depend on the type of fish that is being consumed. It is important that this point is analyzed and well researched in relation to the quantity of mercury in the body, since fish contain it. The following table showing the quantity of omega-3 was taken from Reader’s Digest:

Type of Fish

Total Omega-3 content per 3.5 ounces (grams)

Mackerel

2.6

Trout, lake

2.0

Herring

1.7

Tuna, bluefin

1.6

Salmon; Sardines, canned; Sturgeon, Atlantic; Tuna, albacore; Whitefish, lake

1.5

Anchovies

1.4

Bluefish

1.2

Bass, striped

0.8

Trout, brook; Trout, rainbow

0.6

Halibut, Pacific; Pollock; Shark

0.5

Sturgeon

0.4

Bass, fresh water; Catfish; Ocean perch

0.3

Flounder; Haddock; Snapper, red; Swordfish

0.2

Sole

0.1

For many people, it is a bit hard to add fish to their diet due to dislike of it, price, improper seasoning and perhaps unavailability. Fish is also quite hard to like because many times it is not properly cleaned or taken care of. Instead the fish is left with a very strong taste and odor. One of the best way to make someone appreciate the fish a bit more is to start with a fish which is less smelly and well taken care of. A well taken care fish means taking off the scales and ending with the cleaning of the inside (gut). Once the fish has been cleaned, a new phase can start: the seasoning. The secret to a nice tasting fish dish is in the seasoning. In the post Seasoning with Salt and Acidic Touch, there is a little introduction on seasoning, so please check it out.

It is very important to know about your diet. Despite not knowing much about it, my parents in Angola did take good care of our diet. In my parent’s home, the main component of our diet is fish, seafood (i.e shrimp, crab and lobster) and greens. Having grown in such environment increased my unknown passion for fish. For this reason it is hard to say NO to a nicely prepared fish dish ranging from a simple salmon sashimi to baked red snapper in the oven.

Today I have a very nice recipe of baked red snapper unlike any other. Red Snapper is a fish from the sea and has a sweet tender white meat, therefore delicious. The combination of the fish and bell peppers is out of the world, so get ready to love this. This recipe is particularly perfect for any sort of occasion, a simple dinner or a sophisticated one for your family or in-laws.

 Baked Red Snapper

Baked Red Snapper in the Oven

Ingredients:

Fish

  • 3 kg Red Snapper
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup lemon/lime juice
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • White pepper

Vegetable Sauté

  • Bell pepper (1 red, 1 green, 1 yellow)
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1-2 tomatoes (diced can)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (save 2 tablespoons for the vegetables)
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning

Instructions:

An important step for the baked red snapper is getting the fish properly cleaned, and make cuts that touch the spine/bones of the fish. This is done in order to reduce the smell of the fish. Let us take look at a diagram to make sure all the parts of the fish are known, and the right ones are removed during the cleaning process.

fish-diagram-worksheet
Image Source

Taking off the scales and opening up the fish are the first steps to a nicely done fish dish. Cut off the fins, and remove all the organs (liver, gonad, intestine, stomach, ventricle, air bladder , gills, conus arteriosus, kidney; basically everything inside). Clean up properly before seasoning using water. Make cuts into the fish. The reason to doing that is to allow the seasoning to penetrate the fish. The picture below will show how it should be in relation to both cleanness and cuts.

Baked Red Snapper
Cleaned fish and cuts done

Once the fish is cleaned and placed in a bakeware (glassware can be used as well), prepare the seasoning. Smash the garlic with both salt and bay leaf. Rub the fish with garlic and salt mixture, and add both lemon juice and wine. Ensure the seasoning is put on the cuts as well. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes – 1 hour.

Meanwhile, wash and cut the vegetables. The cutting method is to your taste, but I appreciate the way they look cut in Julienne style depicted below. After that, sauté the vegetables with olive oil, salt and any additional seasoning you like.

Baked Red Snapper Vegetables
Vegetables cut in julienne style

One hour past marinating the fish, add the tablespoons of olive oil to the fish tray and place it in the oven at 200 ºC (400 ºF) for 40-60 minutes. The following step is to watch the fish carefully, making sure that the tray containing the fish does not get dry. In case that happens, add a little bit of wine mixed with water. Add the vegetable sauté on top of the fish, consequently spreading it evenly throughout the tray. Bake it for another 20-25 minutes and remove it from the oven.

This beautiful baked red snapper dish can be served with anything you’d like such as rice, couscous salad, roasted oven potatoes, sweet potatoes, plantain and many more. In essence this tasty recipe that you can even eat it plain with your favorite glass of wine. So definitely enjoy and share it with your loved ones.

Until next time, Hungry people.

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