So October is usually when the snapper kick into gear off Sydney (you can catch them right through winter off Sydney, but they become a more likely catch Oct/Nov). I now release snapper over 65cms if I can and try to limit my catch.
Here’s a recipe that I have found is the bomb for snapper. Whenever I cook it, people ask me for the recipe. It’s actually very simple and works well with white-fleshed fish like snapper, ling and flathead. Very rich and hearty (forget about this if you’re worried about calories – it has heaps!).
- About 1kg of snapper fillets, skinned and cut into thumb-width strips
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium brown onion, chopped finely
- 2 x 450ml of thickened cream
- 2 handful of broccolini heads, cut to bite size pieces
- 200g of grated parmesan
- Juice of a lemon
- 1 heads of garlic, broken into cloves
- 2 handfuls of continental parsley and 1 handful of dill, each roughly chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Puff pastry to cover
- 1 egg to egg wash the pastry or a little milk
Preheat the oven to 220C and remove the puff pastry from the freezer so it will be at room temperature when you are ready to bake.
Drizzle garlic cloves with olive oil, wrap in foil and bake for 15-20 minutes until soft. Squeeze garlic from cloves and set aside.
Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Once hot, cook the onions.
Once the onions are translucent, add in the broccolini (I microwave these a bit first so they are al dente – they cook more in the next process). Stir fry for 4-5 minutes then tip in the cream.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Let the cream reduce by about a third (it should be enough to fill your pie dish after the reduction).
Once the cream has reduced, remove from the heat then add the parsley, dill, lemon juice and parmesan. Add salt and pepper to taste and the roasted garlic cloves (around 8 or so for single pie). Gently stir through the snapper then pour into the pie dish. The mixture should be enough to just fill the pie dish – but leave some room at the top as it will overflow in the oven. You can take your time now – don’t worry if the mixture cools.
Lay the puff pastry over your dish and press in the sides. Brush with either an egg wash (1 egg beaten with a tablespoon of water) or with milk.
Place in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the pastry is cooked.