Grilled Red Snapper with Conch and Corn Pancake and Tamarind-Pineapple Vinaigrette
Grilled fish tops a conch and corn pancake which in turn sits atop a vegetable melange. Tamarind, the spice which dominates the vinaigrette drizzled around this dish, is a predominant spice in Worcestershire Sauce, and adds an acerbic bite to the flavors. Conch is hard to find in most locations; you can substitute chopped clams, or even use shrimp or crab, and still have a delicious dish even if it is not an exact duplicate.
- Pineapple - 1/2 cup, diced
- Tamarind Juice - 2 tablespoons
- Olive oil - 1/4 cup
- Honey - 1 tablespoon
- Cornmeal - 1/2 cup
- Boiling Water - 1/2 cup
- Honey - 1 tablespoon
- Salt - pinch
- All-Purpose Flour - 1/4 cup, sifted
- Baking Power - 1 tablespoon
- Egg - 1
- Milk - 1/2 cup
- Melted Butter - 1 tablespoon
- Scallion - 1, finely chopped
- Fresh Corn - 1/4 cup
- Conch - 1 cup, ground or chopped very fine
- Vegetable Curls
- Sweet Potato - 1, peeled
- Flour - for dusting
- Vegetable oil - for frying
- Basil leaves - 4 large, cut in chiffonade
- Chervil - 1/2 bunch, minced
- Cilantro - 1/2 bunch, minced
- Parsley - 1/2 bunch, minced
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil - 2 tablespoons
- Red snapper fillets - four, 6 - 8-ounce, skin on
- Mixed Herbs - 1/4 cup
- Dry Jerk seasoning - 2 teaspoons
- Vegetable Salad
- Pencil Asparagus - 8 spears, fresh, blanched
- Tomatoes - 2, peeled and cut in wedges
- Yellow Current Tomatoes - 6
- Basil - 2 leaves, fresh, cut in chiffonade
- Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon
- Red Wine Vinegar - 1 tablespoon
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
To make the vinaigrette: Whisk all ingredients together and put in a squeeze bottle.
To make the pancakes: In a large bowl combine the cornmeal, boiling water, honey, and salt. Let cool. Sift together the flour and baking powder. Add the egg, melted butter, and flour mixture, stirring just until mixed. Stir in the scallion, corn, and conch. Lightly spray a non-stick griddle or frying pan with vegetable oil spray. Make 3-inch pancakes: for each pancake, pour 2 large tablespoonfuls of batter on the hot pan, letting it spread without touching another pancake. Cook until bubbles form on the surface, about 1 minute. Flip with a plastic spatula and cook on the other side for 30 more seconds, or until it is golden and cooked through. Remove and keep warm. Extra pancakes may be frozen.
To make the vegetable garnish: Using a spiral slicer or similar slicer, pare the potato in long very thin strips. Soak in ice water for 10 minutes. Pat with paper towels to dry thoroughly, then dust lightly with flour. Heat the oil to 350 F in a deep fat fryer or deep pan. With a slotted spoon, plunge the potato strips, a few at a time, into the hot oil. Fry for 20 - 30 seconds, until crisp. Remove and set aside on paper towels to drain. Lightly dust the basil with the flour, shake off excess, and plunge the basil into the hot oil for 10 - 15 seconds, until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
To make the fish: Toss the minced herbs together in a small bowl, and stir in the olive oil. Preheat the grill to its highest setting, or prepare a charcoal fire. Brush the snapper with the herb oil and sprinkle with jerk seasoning. Grill skin-side down for 30 seconds, lift and rotate the fish 45 degrees, and grill again for 1 minute, leaving grill marks. Turn and grill on the other side for 2 minutes, or until the fish is opaque throughout.
To serve: Toss the vegetable salad ingredients together and divide among the plates. Place a pancake on top of the greens on each plate, and top with a piece of fish. Garnish the top with vegetable curls. Drizzle the plate with the vinaigrette.