Whole Roasted Snapper with Anchovy Butter
The Van Akens write that this dish was inspired by one served by Philip Mascia, chef-owner of the Port of Call.
2-pound whole snapper, gutted and scaled
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup white wine
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 to 5 fresh thyme sprigs
2 to 3 bay leaves
1 lemon, sliced
1 medium red onion, sliced
1 small bulb fennel, cored and sliced
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature for at least 30 minutes
6 anchovy fillets packed in olive oil (preferably wild-caught), rinsed well and chopped into a near paste
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon strained fresh lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover a large pan with a piece of aluminum foil large enough to wrap the fish.
Place the fish on the foil. With a sharp knife, make slashes in the flesh 1 to 11/2 inches apart, almost to the bones. Season the fish with salt and pepper on both sides and pour the wine around the it. Drizzle some of the olive oil on the fish and the rest into the wine. Scatter the thyme and bay leaves around the fish and add a few lemon slices (save the rest for garnish), the onion and fennel.
Fold up the foil and seal the edges to create a packet. Roast the packet of fish in the pan for 30 to 35 minutes, until cooked through.
Meanwhile, in a serving bowl, combine the softened butter, anchovies, pepper and lemon juice; mash together thoroughly with the back of a fork.
Unwrap the fish at the table and serve with anchovy butter on the side. Makes 2 servings.
Source: Adapted from “My Key West Kitchen: Recipe and Stories” (Kyle, $29.95).
Per serving: 663 calories (71 percent from fat), 52 g fat (30 g saturated, 14 g monounsaturated), 206 mg cholesterol, 46 g protein, 0.4 g carbohydrates, 0 fiber, 153 mg sodium.