Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Jazzy Snapper

Chef Aaron Webb recently showed a group of travel writers how he prepares his signature snapper. It's by far the most popular dish in the wildly popular Sunday Brunch at the Casa Marina Hotel in Jacksonville Beach.

It isn't nearly as hard as it looks either.

Casa Marina Diced Snapper
Chef looks for 10-12-pounders but you can use whatever size snapper you need or want. (Don't expect leftovers whatever size you prepare.) The fresh fish should be gutted and cleaned with its side fins snipped off, something a good fish monger can do for you.

Cutting all the way down to the center bone and avoiding the other bones as you would in a fillet, slice across the fish in one direction, then score in another to produce a checkerboard effect. Turn the fish over and repeat. I didn't really need to add use a very sharp knife, did I?

Seasoning is a cinch. Chef Aaron changes it up each Sunday, but when he did it for us he used a combination of granulated garlic, cumin, fresh dill, finely ground pepper and a touch of oil-based Thai chili sauce.

Rub your mixture inside the slices until the fish is thoroughly seasoned.

Spray a baking pan with fat-free oil, then stuff bunched up aluminum foil in the belly of the fish so it sits up as if swimming across the pan. Baste the fish with olive oil and bake it until the meat is almost flaking. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes to finish cooking as you garnish.

Voila - a stunning presentation. The small, delicious squares of fish easily come away from the bones, which soon is all that you'll have left.

We were at the Casa Marina for a first hand look at how its weddings and receptions come together so of course we had to try the deep pink drink they created. Here it is.

Wedding Cake Martini
4 oz. Stoli Vanilla                                     2 oz. DiSaronno
Splash of pineapple juice                          Dash of Grenadine

Shake well with crushed ice, strain and serve in a martini glass with sugared rim. Mazel tov!


  1. What a cool post. Thanks for sharing, Judy!

    Liz Van Hooser

  2. Ohh, laa, laa! The Event Lady remembers those wedding martinis well! We had lots of fun at Casa Marina in Jax. It was a good trip and a delicious martini recipe.