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Do you want to add a different flavor to your grilled recipe arsenal? Get ready to fire up the charcoal for a fantastic grilling session! It’s time to push your fear of charcoal grilling fish aside and start embracing the smoky grilled flavor that you can add to your seafood, starting with Grilled Key Lime and Jalapeno Red Snapper Fillets! One thing you should know about me and my style of cooking. When I teach a cooking class or hold a chef demo, I try to convey the idea that my recipes are ones I like and enjoy. I encourage others to consider them as starter recipes. Feel free to tweak them for your likes and for what your family enjoys! Start making your family’s heirloom dishes! About the only place, you can’t waver too much when following a recipe is when it involves the classic French sauces and making pastries and pie crusts! After that, everything else is open for tweaking.
Think of a wine that’s light and sweet that would be perfect served chilled on a summer day Next, add a little bonus touch with the addition of something spicy! In this case, it’s a small amount of jalapeno pepper – just enough to add a slight, and delicious tingle. The flavor combinations are something you can play with to make your own, and you can use this recipe method on many types of seafood.
Selecting Fresh Fish and Seafood
A lot of us are going to buy seafood, such as red snapper fillets used in this recipe, that’s straight from the freezer section. These snapper fillets are fresh caught, hit with a brine solution, and flash-frozen in a short time after being caught. However, if you are buying fresh seafood, there are a few things you need to take into consideration when standing in the seafood section or seafood market. First, use this rule of thumb. If it looks “funny” or smells… walk away! Dirty or stained ice or packaging, fish with sunken or foggy eyes, and pale gills are indicators that the fish and or fillets have been on display for a while.
According to the USDA, Eyes should be crisp and clear, gills should be red or pink, not white because all blood has drained away, and scales should be shiny and fresh, not dull. Fillets should show no discoloration or dried edges. Also, if you smell “fish,” then walk away. An excellent source for fresh fish is Lobsters Anywhere.
“Fish should smell fresh and mild, not fishy, sour, or ammonia-like.”
Choosing your Wine!
One of the great things about this recipe is the fact that it is so open to making adjustments. I started making the dish with various light and sweet wines that have a citrus or fruit flavor. I’ve used everything from Orange infused to a Mango Pineapple based wine. I stray away from wines based on berries or fruit, such as watermelon for this recipe. Think light in color, not dark or red. A great source for wine, especially from small vineyards, is California Wine Club. Save the red wine with deeper flavor for tuna or shark steaks or a great New York strip! Once you find the wines you like – you can adapt this recipe to any type of filet, shrimp, scallops, lobster, and more. Plus, you may have found the perfect paired wines for any seafood dish you prepare!
Grilled Citrus Wine and Jalapeno Red Snapper Fillet Recipe
- 4 red snapper fillets (Or fillets of your choice)
- 1/2 cup Citrus based wine
- 2-3 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2-3 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 large jalapeno pepper, chopped (or ½ to 1 tablespoon diced store-bought jalapeno)
- Butter, melted
- Dashes of Creole seasoning
First, arrange the red snapper fillets in a single layer in a glass baking dish then add the oil and wine covering evenly. Then add parsley, garlic, and jalapeno and whisk together. Turn and rotate the fillets to coat evenly. Get your charcoal grill going. Grill the fillets using a grilling basket until they flake easily. Mix some melted butter with a few dashes of Creole seasoning and serve to the side or use it as a drizzle before serving.
Kent’s Cheater Version!
Grab some snapper fillets, drizzle with some citrus-based wine or lime soda, sprinkle with Creole or Cajun seasoning, and charcoal grill! Serve hot!
Author Bio: Kent Whitaker, also known as “The Deck Chef,” is an award-winning culinary writer and cookbook author. He’s also the former winner of the Emeril Live Food Network Barbecue Contest. You can reach out to Kent at www.thedeckchef.com, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.