Snapper is a slightly sweet, mild, and firm fish. It benefits from this bite’s briny and spicy yet sweet sauce created by the mélange of manila clams, poblano peppers, and sweet potato.
YIELD: 4 SERVINGS
￼￼￼￼CLAMS AND SWEET-POTATO RAGOUT
3 poblano peppers
1 tablespoon olive oil
1⁄2 onion, peeled and diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
2 ribs celery, diced
2 ears corn, kernels removed and cobs reserved 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 bay leaf
1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne
1⁄8 teaspoon smoked paprika
1⁄8 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
Pinch of cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste
6 ounces unsweetened coconut milk
2 dozen manila clams
Preheat the broiler. Put poblano peppers under the hot broiler, rotating and cooking them on all sides until they are charred. Place blackened peppers in a plastic bag, seal, and allow them to steam for 10 minutes. Remove peppers from the bag and peel off the translucent top layer of skin. Seed and dice.
Heat the oil in an 8-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook until tender. Add the corn and corn cobs, sweet potato, diced poblano peppers, bay leaf, cayenne, smoked paprika, thyme, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Add water to cover the ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove the corn cobs. Add coconut milk and bring to a boil. Cook for
an additional 5 minutes. Add clams, cooking until they all open, discarding any that do not.
4 (4–5-ounce) fillets red snapper 1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1⁄4 cup chopped scallions
1 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
Rinse snapper under cold water and pat dry.
In a shallow bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Dip each snapper fillet in marinade to coat both sides, cover, and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Place fish in skillet and cook for 2–3 minutes on each side and set aside. Pour remaining marinade into skillet. Reduce heat, and simmer 2–3 minutes to reduce slightly. Reserve for assembly.
Cut the snapper fillets in half. Spoon reduction equally onto four dinner plates, then place a half fillet on top, off center. Spoon 1 tablespoon of ragout onto each snapper half. Cover ragout with another half fillet. Toss remaining ragout with clams, divide evenly among the plates, and serve.
This quick dish requires only two pans: one to sear the fish and another to cook the ragout.
This is a great fall dish.
Instead of snapper, use tilefish or sea bass; substitute mussels for the clams.