In the Caribbean, the Red Snapper fish is a delicacy, but it’s also a seasonal fish. Meaning that we can’t get it whenever we wanted to, no matter how much we would love to. There are quite a few ways that you can prepare fish, and while we’re famous for our Caribbean Stew Fish, every once in a while I like to change things up a bit. My mother would call it blasphemy, a sin to change up a tried and true Caribbean recipe. However, I think as with all things, change is good. The Red Snapper is a fish that I have been eating most of my life, and I’ve even cleaned a few freshly caught ones in my lifetime as well. The Red Snapper isn’t a fish that you filet, although you can find it that way in a few fish market, or you can request it done. However, in the Caribbean, we don’t filet our fish and prepare it whole, complete with the head intact. While baking is a lot healthier than a stew, personally I prefer a good ole stew fish, and I’ll have to share that way with you one of these days. Remember that Caribbean Green Seasoning that I shared a short while ago? Well this is the time to prepare a batch because you’re going to need it for this recipe. It truly brings out the flavor in the Red Snapper and gives it that exceptional taste that people of the Caribbean have come to love.
Caribbean Baked Red Snapper
2 1/2 pounds whole red snapper
2 celery stalks, each stalk divided and diced
1 14.5 ounces can whole Roma tomatoes
1 14.5 ounces can diced tomatoes
1 cup of fish stock
1/2 cup celery leaves, washed and chopped
1 large sweet yellow onion, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
6 garlic bulb, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 400°
Remove the whole snapper from the fridge and rinse with cold water. Pat the fish dry using paper towels, and brush the skin of the fish with extra virgin oil. Stuff the inside of the Red Snapper with
Caribbean Green Seasoning. Set aside.
In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, add both cans of tomatoes, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, chopped celery and celery leaves. Stir well and allow the tomatoes mixture to simmer for 20 minutes.
While the tomatoes are stewing prepare the onions, green and red bell peppers slicing them using a mandolin. Set aside.
Spoon stewed tomato mixture into a large high-walled 2-inch baking dish. Place slices of onion, green and red bell peppers in the dish. Place the red snapper on top of the vegetables. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place on the center rack of the oven and cook for 40 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow the red snapper to rest for 10-minutes.
Serve with Rice + Pigeon Peas.
If you’re in the market for a Caribbean dish that’s easy to make this holiday, or just want to try something new, hopefully our Caribbean Baked Red Snapper will make it’s way to your dinner table.