The chile heat brings out the sweetness of whole red snapper in this Jamaican recipe; a burst of freshly squeezed pineapple juice adds another bright note. Grilling fish on a plancha or cast-iron griddle prevents it from falling apart. This recipe first appeared in our June/July 2013 issue with Shane Mitchell's article Fire and Water.
Yield: serves 2
- 1 (1-lb.) whole red snapper, scaled and cleaned
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 1 large habanero chile, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>4</sub> cup olive oil
- Juice of 1 lime
- 6 scallions
- <sup>1</sup>⁄<sub>2</sub> small white onion, thinly sliced
- 1 wedge of fresh pineapple (optional)
- Season the cavity of the fish with salt and pepper. Stuff with garlic, thyme, and ¼ of the chile. Rub outside of fish with oil, lime juice, salt, and pepper; refrigerate 20 minutes.
- Heat a charcoal grill or set a gas grill to high; bank coals or turn off burner on one side (see "Grilling 101"). Heat a plancha or flat cast-iron griddle over coals until very hot. Grill fish on plancha, flipping once, until charred in spots and cooked through, 12-15 minutes. If you like, squeeze fresh pineapple juice over fish; transfer to a serving platter. If outside starts to burn before fish is fully cooked, move plancha to cooler section of grill until done. Clean pan and grill remaining chile with scallions and onions until slightly charred and wilted, 5-7 minutes; serve over fish.
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