Daurade Acacia (Snapper with Eggplant)
Fresh tomato sauce is used as a base for sauteed marinated eggplant topped with herb-crusted fish fillets. More herbs, plus sauteed garlic cloves, garnish the dish. Begin making the stock and eggplant a day ahead as the eggplant must marinate for 24 hours.
- Sherry Vinegar - 2 cups
- Honey - 1 cup
- White peppercorns - 2 tablespoons, crushed
- Giner - 2 teaspoons, minced
- Thyme - 1 sprig
- Bay Leaf - 1
- Rosemary - 1 sprig
- Garlic - 2 cloves, slightly crushed
- Salt - To taste
- Eggplant - 1 medium
- Olive Oil - 2 cups
- 3/4 prepared stock (above)
- Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon
- Onion - 1/2, finely chopped
- Garlic - 2 cloves, minced
- Tomatoes - 8, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- Tomato paste - 1 tablespoon
- 1/4 prepared stock (above)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Rosemary - 2 sprigs, minced
- Garlic - 4 cloves, crushed
- Salt - 1 tablespoon
- Garlic - 12 cloves, peeled but left whole
- Red snapper - 4 fillets
- Olive Oil - 2 – 3 tablespoons
- Green olive oil - 2 tablespoons
- Peppercorns - 2 tablespoons, crushed
- Bay Leaves - 4 small
- Rosemary - 4 sprigs
- Thyme - 4 sprigs
To make the stock: Place all ingredients in a large stockpot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve and set the stock aside.
To prepare the eggplant: Cut the eggplant into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry the eggplant until golden on each side, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Season with salt and pepper. Drain off the oil and add three-fourths of the stock. Reserve the remaining stock for the sauce; seal in a container and refrigerate. Bring the eggplant-stock mixture to a boil and cook 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly, then pour into a container, seal, and let the eggplant marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
To make the sauce: Film a medium skillet with the olive oil over medium heat and add the onions and garlic. Cook until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the reserved stock and bring to a boil. Puree the mixture in a blender or food processor, then check for seasoning; add salt if necessary. Keep warm.
To prepare the fish: Combine the rosemary, garlic, and salt and place in a shallow dish. Roll the snapper fillets in the mixture to coat. In a medium non-stick skillet or saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic cloves and snapper fillets, separating them in the pan, and sear for 2 to 3 minutes, until browned. Turn and sear on the other side; roll the garlic cloves around. Reduce the heat to medium, turn the fillets again, and cook for 4 to 6 minutes, until the fish is done through. Total cooking time is about 10 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels.
To serve: Warm the eggplant slices in a large skillet. Spoon tomato sauce in the center of each warmed plate. Divide the eggplant slices among the plates and place them on the sauce. Place the snapper fillets skin-side up on top of the eggplant slices. Drizzle each plate with a little green olive oil and sprinkle with white peppercorns. Garnish with the sauteed garlic cloves, bay leaves, and sprigs of thyme and rosemary