Whole Roasted Snapper On Piperade With Herb Crouton by Chef Chris Hastings

6 whole Mingo snappers (12 to 16 ounce), fins trimmed, gills removed, cleaned, and scaled
2lemons, thinly sliced
36 freshthyme sprigs
1 cup plus 2 tablespoonsroughly chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoonsalt
1-1/2 teaspoonsfreshly ground black pepper
8 tablespoonsunsalted butter (1 stick)
2 tablespoonsextra-virgin olive oil, divided
4garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 largeyellow onions, cut into 1-inch squares, about 6 1/2 cups
2 largered bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1-inch squares, about 2 cups
2 largeyellow bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1-inch squares, about 2 cups
2poblano peppers, seeded and cut into 1-inch squares, about 1 1/2 cups
2 cupsseeded and diced Roma tomatoes
1 cup verjus or dry white wine
2 freshbasil sprigs
3 tablespoonslemon oil
1 tablespoonunsalted butter
2 tablespoonschopped fresh basil
1 tablespoonchopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoonchopped fresh chives
1-1/2 cupsherb croutons


Rinse the snappers under cold, running water, and pat both the inside and out with paper towels until dry. Season the inside cavity of each fish with 1/2-teaspoon of salt and 1/4-teaspoon of the pepper. Stuff each cavity with 3 to 4 lemon slices, 6 sprigs of thyme and 3 tablespoons roughly chopped basil. Refrigerate stuffed snappers until ready to cook.

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Melt 8 tablespoons of the butter and 1 tablespoon of the extra-virgin olive oil in a 6 quart round roaster over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute, being careful not to let the garlic get too brown. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the peppers and cook until slightly softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, verjus, and basil sprigs, increase the heat to medium-high and simmer for 3 minutes. Season the vegetables with 3/4-teaspoon of the salt and 1/4-teaspoon of the pepper and remove from the heat.

Divide the pepper mixture evenly between two 6 quart round roasters. Arrange 3 stuffed snappers in each roaster on top of the pepper mixture. Bake the fish for 20 to 25 minutes or until cooked through. Remove the snappers from the baking dish. Stir the remaining lemon oil, 1 tablespoon of butter, parsley, basil, and chives. Spoon 1 cup of the Piperade onto each of 6 plates. Place 1 fish on each mound of Piperade and serve immediately. Serves 6.

Recipe and image used with permission and courtesy of All-Clad. All rights reserved. Hot and Hot Fish Club, 2008. Recipe by Chris Hastings, Chef and Owner of the Hot and Hot Fish Club, Birmingham, AL.

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