Recipe: Mike Van de Elzen’s Barbecued Snapper with Peperonata and Potatoes
Cooking the snapper on the bone creates even more flavour in this dinner dish.
Words: Mike Van de Elzen
I never used to be a huge fan of eating whole fish. I think it’s a Van de Elzen thing, as we didn’t eat it when we were growing up. But the rewards outweigh the chances of getting the odd scale or bone stuck in your teeth.
Cooking fish on the bone imparts far more flavour, and there’s less chance of the meat drying out. There’s also a layer of fat under the skin, which helps to keep in the moisture during cooking.
If you don’t want the hassle of cooking a whole fish, try fish fillets with the skin on (you may need to go to a fishmonger). Cook the fish fillet skin side down first, so you end up with a beautiful crispy skin when you serve it.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
1 x 2kg whole snapper, scaled, gutted, fins trimmed
100g baby fennel bulb tips
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp flaky sea salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
700g baby Perla potatoes
½ telegraph cucumber, deseeded and sliced into long strips
2 tbsp avocado oil
Score the skin of the snapper. Cut lemons in half and rub over the skin. Squeeze the juice into the slits in the skin. Stuff the lemons and fennel tips into the body cavity. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper.
Place on the barbecue over a medium heat with the lid down. Cook on one side only for 25-30 minutes (depending on fish size), until the flesh flakes easily.
Boil the Perla potatoes until just tender. Place in a serving bowl and mix through the salsa verde.
Add the watercress and cucumber to a salad bowl, then drizzle avocado oil over it.
To serve, carefully transfer the snapper to a serving platter and spoon over the peperonata. Serve with baby potatoes and watercress salad.