First of all, for those of you who have so sweetly been asking, I wanted to let you know that my parents, family, friends, and their possessions in the Outer Banks are fine. As you might know my dad, Capt’n James Rosemond, lives in Morehead City most of the year running his dive charter, Tortuga Charters. He lives on Fisher Street, a block away from the family vacation home, the Swamp House. Because Irene hit the area so directly (landing on Cape Lookout, the lighthouse shown below), MHC was in serious danger. Thankfully the Swamp House only flooded, something it is prepared for, and Pap’s house was dry and safe. We were very, very lucky, and my heart goes out to those who were not so fortunate.
While we were in MHC last week for our vacation I had the opportunity to try something I’d wanted to do for a long time- to stuff and roast a whole fish. Tuesday afternoon, our night to cook, Dan and I headed to the local seafood market and picked up three pink snapper. We had gone for red vermillion snapper but my new bff at the market recommended pink as it has “the same flavor for half the price.” I love that kind of advice.
We stuffed the snapper with rosemary, thyme, lemon, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil, bathed them in white wine, and then let them roast. We paired the fish with couscous, a cucumber, tomato, and feta salad, and a sauvignon blanc. One thing that struck us as when ate was that despite smelling amazing, the fish was still pretty subtle. It was tasty, but didn’t have the flavor punch we were hoping for.
When we evacuated MHC to come back to Baltimore we were sent home with the leftovers (including a whole fish- my friend at the fish market suggested 3 fish for 6 adults, his family apparently eats much more than mine). We enjoyed the fish for dinner this week with a simple sauce- browned butter, white wine, garlic, and rosemary. It gave the fish exactly the flavor boost we were looking for, a perfect addition to the meal.
Despite a looming hurricane our week in Carteret County was wonderful, easily one of the best family vacations we’ve ever taken. And since the Swamp House survived to see another hurricane I look forward to doing another couples vacation next summer. Maybe next year we can actually catch the fish we cook!
Whole Roasted Snapper
feeds six adults
2 medium-large pink or red snapper
Bunch of rosemary, put some aside for sauce
Bunch of thyme
7 cloves of garlic
Salt & pepper
1/2 bottle dry white wine
1 stick butter
Have the market scale, gill, and clean your whole snapper. When you get home, open up the cavity and drizzle olive oil inside. Then sprinkle in salt and pepper. Chunk your garlic and add 2 cloves to the inside of each fish. Split the thyme and rosemary between the two fish, leaving a little to put on top. Slice your lemons and put 1 whole lemon inside each fish.
Line two baking pans with foil. Lay down 1/2 lemon and 1/2 garlic clove in each pan. Put the fish in the pan and top with remaining herbs. Drizzle with olive oil and add 1 cup of wine to each. Bake for 35 minutes at 400.
While the fish are baking, make your sauce. Over very low heat combine butter, a bit of chopped rosemary, and the last clove of garlic, chopped. Allow to simmer until the butter has browned. Add 1/2 cup white wine, and simmer for 5 more minutes. Set aside.
When your fish is done serve it whole. Use a fork or a knife to open the fish up, peeling the skin back. Allow your guests to pick the meat out. Serve with the sauce on the side so that people can add it as they please.