Mediterranean Grilled Snapper
Makes 6 servings
|1||whole red snapper (about 4-1/2 pounds), scaled, gutted and cavity cut open*|
|2||tablespoons fresh lemon juice|
|Salt and pepper|
|3||tablespoons olive oil, divided|
|2||tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves or 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves, crushed|
|2||tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves or 2 teaspoons dried basil|
|3||whole heads garlic**|
|Fresh oregano sprigs (optional)|
|6||slices Italian bread, cut 1 inch thick|
|Additional olive oil (optional)|
*This can be done by your fish retailer at the time of purchase or you may wish to do this yourself.
**The whole garlic bulb is called a head.
- Prepare grill for direct cooking. Rinse snapper under cold running water; pat dry with paper towels. Open cavity of snapper; brush with lemon juice. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Combine 1 tablespoon oil, chopped oregano and basil in small bowl. Using small spatula, spread mixture inside cavity of snapper. Place lemon slices in cavity; close snapper. Secure opening by threading 6-inch metal skewer lengthwise through outside edge of cavity.
- Cut off top third of garlic heads to expose cloves; discard. Place each head on small sheet of heavy-duty foil; drizzle evenly with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Wrap in foil. Place packets directly on medium-hot coals.
- Place snapper in oiled, hinged fish basket or directly on oiled grid. Grill snapper and garlic, on uncovered grill, over medium-hot coals 20 to 25 minutes or until snapper flakes easily when tested with fork, turning halfway through grilling time.
- Soak oregano sprigs in water. Place oregano sprigs directly on coals during last 10 minutes of grilling.
- Brush bread lightly with additional oil. During last 5 minutes of grilling, place bread around outer edges of grid to toast, about 4 minutes, turning once.
- Transfer snapper to carving board. Carefully unwrap garlic. Peel off any charred papery outer skin. Using pot holder, squeeze softened garlic from heads into small bowl; mash to a paste with wooden spoon or potato masher, adding additional oil. Spread bread lightly with garlic paste.
- Remove skewer from snapper. Slit skin from head to tail along back and belly of snapper; pull skin from top side of snapper with fingers. Discard skin. Using utility knife, separate top fillet from backbone; cut into serving-size pieces. Lift up tail; pull forward to free backbone from lower fillet. Cut lower fillet into serving-size pieces. Remove skin, if desired.
A whole red snapper may not fit in hinged fish basket. If desired, remove head and tail from snapper.
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