This post was originally published on August 25, 2007. It has been updated once since then.
A simple fish dish. The flavours weren’t as assertive as I would have ordinarily liked but the relative mildness means that it can be paired with bolder side dishes that may not usually see the light of day. The inclusion of cilantro in the salsa provides the only real ‘zest’.
I often mention that I pick my culantro (known locally as chadon beni/shadow benny/bhandhani ) from a patch outside my home. As I used some of that herb in this dish, I thought that now would be a great time to show you all it growing in ‘the wild’.
Pan Fried Snapper with Tomato Salsa Makes 4 servings
INGREDIENTS: 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste 4 ½ teaspoons olive oil 4 ½ teaspoons unsalted butter 4 red snapper filllets, about 6 ounces each, pin bones removed freshly ground black pepper ⅓ cup all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon sliced pickled jalapeno peppers or 1 fresh jalapeno pepper 1 small sweet onoin such as Vidalia or mild red onion, about 4 ounces 1 lb ripe tomatoes 10 sprigs cilantro
DIRECTIONS: 1. Put the oil and butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. 2. Season the fish with salt and pepper 3. Put the flour on a pie plate or wax paper 4. Dredge the fish in the flour, shaking off any excess. 5. Add the fish to the skillet, skin side down, and cook for 4 minutes 6. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 4 minutes on the other side, or until the fish feels springy to the touch. 7. While the fish and rice cook, drop the jalapeno down the chute of a food processor with the motor running. 8. peel and quarter the onion. 9. Add to the processor and pulse a few times to chop very coarsely. 10. Core and quarter the tomatoes. 11. Remove the leaves from 6 of the cilantro/culantro sprigs 12. Add the tomato, cilantro, and salt and black pepper to taste to the proessor. 13. Pulse until the salsa is fully combined but still somewhat chunky. 14. Divide the fish among four plates and garnish with the remaining cilantro sprigs. 15. Spoon some of the salsa over the fish. 16. Put the remaining salsa in a small bowl for the table.