Red snapper and yellow pepper soup

I always enjoyed ordering whole fish at restaurants; there is something quite special and appetizing about being served an entire fish. I also have to say that I was always a bit unsure about my ability to properly cook a whole fish myself.

Two things were important into making me more confident about doing it: I learned how to tell exactly when the fish is done, and the fact that using simple ingredients, like olive oil and lemon juice, sometimes is enough to prepare a really delicious meal.

When you buy a whole fish, it is also easier to tell if it is fresh. The fish should not have a strong smell, the fins should not be damaged and the eyes should be clear.

This pretty pinkish-red snapper is one of my favorite because of its very mild taste. Cooking it in foil makes the whole process much cleaner, and reduces the strong smell when you discard leftovers.

The beautiful color and slightly sweet taste of the yellow pepper soup is a great complement to this light and healthy fish recipe.

 

 

Yellow pepper soup

  • 3 yellow peppers
  • 1/2 leek (white parts only ), chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 small potato peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 garlic, minced
  •  600 ml (2.5 cups ) chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • ground black pepper
  1. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to a pot. Add chopped onion and chopped leek. Saute over low heat, until very soft, don’t let it brown. Add the minced garlic and saute 2-3 min longer.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  3. Preheat the broiler.
  4. Core the peppers, remove the seeds, and quarter. Put them cut side down.
  5. Put the baking sheet on top rack of the oven and bake until chard.
  6. Another option is to put the peppers in the oven at 200C for about 40 min. They will keep a brighter yellow color that way.
  7. Put them into a plastic bag and leave them in the bag for 15 min., peel the skin off.
  8. Add peppers to the pot with potatoes, sauteed onion, leek and chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer until potatoes are tender.
  10. Cool slightly. In batches transfer to a food processor or hand blender. Process until smooth.

 

 

Goat cheese croutons

  • Slice of bread
  • Goat cheese
  • Micro greens
  1. Toast a slice of bread. Cut into small squares of about 2 cm.
  2. Put a little bit of goat cheese on top and sprinkle with some micro greens.
  3. Reheat the soup and put croutons on top.
Fish
2 portions
  • 1 Red snapper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  •  2-3 lemon slices
  • salt and pepper
  1. Ask the fishmongers to clean the fish for you. If you decide to do it yourself, the first step is to scrap the scales on both sides. A good way to do that is to put the fish inside a large plastic bag. Firmly holding the tail use a big spoon or the blunt side of the knife and scrape from tail to head.
  2. Turn the fish and repeat in the other side. Rinse with cold water.
  3. Trim all fins with scissors except the back (dorsal) one. The dorsal fins together with the cloudiness of the eyes will help determine when the fish is ready.
  4. Cut the gills with scissors. If the fish is fresh they should be bright red.
  5. Now you can gut the fish, using a sharp knife making a cut from the tail end towards the head. Remove the guts. Rinse under cold water.
  6. Dry with a paper towel and put into the refrigerator until you are ready to cook it.
  7. Turn the oven to 190 C.
  8. Mix olive oil and lemon juice.
  9. Take the fish out, and make 2-3 slits with sharp knife. Rub the fish with the oil mixture and season with salt and pepper. Put a couple of thin slices of lemon into cavity.
  10. Lightly oil the aluminum foil and put fish on it. Wrap it and put on a baking tray. Cook for 40 min or until eyes are opaque, and dorsal fin pulls out easely.
  11. Carefully lift a small part of skin using the tip of a knife. Flesh should turn opaque and should flake easily.
  12. Transfer fish to a clean board.
  13. Carefully pull the skin from the top of the fish and separate the two top fillets.
  14. Take out the bones that lie on the back of the fillets. Put the fillets carefully on a plate on top of the spinach and cover them with some tomato sauce.
  15. Pull the backbone and separate the other two fillet from the skin.

 

 

Sauteed spinach

  • 200 g  fresh young spinach
  • butter
  • salt and pepper
  1. Remove stalks from the spinach. Wash and dry well with kitchen paper.
  2. Melt small amount of butter and put the spinach. Cook for couple of minutes until it is wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
Tomato sauce
  • 100 g  cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 glove of garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper
  1. Heat olive oil in a pan on medium heat.
  2. Half tomatoes and add them to the pan.
  3. Season with salt and pepper. Cook on low heat for a minute then add minced garlic. Cook for another two minutes.
  4. Put over fish and if you like add a little extra olive oil.
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