Crispy Skin Fish

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Crispy skin fish is a perfect example of a simple but high-reward technique that will make you feel like you’re in a fancy restaurant.

The most important part of the technique below is starting with VERY dry fish. Moisture will cause the fillets to steam and stick to whatever surface you’re working with.

The snapper can be swapped with just about any white, flaky fish. Make sure you ask what’s fresh and locally caught. Living in Florida, we have almost no excuse NOT to eat locally caught fish!

The Key-lime Avocado puree adds acidity and creaminess and further elevates the fish. Be sure to plate the sauce first, then top with the fillet. If you top the crispy skin fish with the sauce, it will immediately soften the skin you worked so hard to achieve.

Rosé is a perfect partner for seafood, especially a light fish like snapper.

These recipes are part of a Simple Seafood Meal you can make at home with recipes from deep blu Seafood Grille.

View the whole menu here.

Crispy Skin Red Snapper
Serves 4

4 6-ounce line-caught red snapper fillets
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

  1. One hour before cooking, pat fish dry with paper towels and place on a plate skin-side up, uncovered. (Do not season yet.) Refrigerate.
  2. Preheat oven to 475F.
  3. Without piercing the flesh, use the tip of a sharp paring knife to score the skin of the fish in a crosshatch pattern to prevent the fillets from curling.
  4. Heat a heavy-bottomed (NOT nonstick) skillet over medium-high heat at least 2 minutes.
  5. Swirl 2 tablespoons oil around skillet. Working in batches of two, generously season fish on both sides with salt and pepper. Once the oil is shimmering, carefully lay fillets skin-side down in the pan. Be sure to lay them going away from you.
  6. While tilting the pan away from you, use a large spoon to baste the top side of the fish with the hot oil. Cook until flesh is nearly opaque and cooked through.

Key Lime Avocado Puree

1 ripe Florida avocado, peeled and pitted
Juice of 2 Key Limes (about 1/4 cup)
Kosher salt and white pepper to taste

  1. Place avocado in blender or small food processor, add lime juice and puree until smooth.
  2. Add salt and pepper to taste, then wrap tightly in small container and set aside.
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