Another benefit of Christmas holidays in the Sunshine State is access to really fresh seafood. We typically enjoy a fresh fried oyster or homemade smoke mullet dip before Christmas dinner and include fish or shrimp in the meal. It’s just too silly not to take advantage – especially when your Dad is a professional fishing guide!
And when your Dad is a pro-fisherman, you learn the tricks to scaling a whole fish and grilling or roasting it in salt. This can seem like an intimidating recipe, I agree, but it really is simple and can be thrown together with just a little advanced ordering from the fish market (or even a specialty store like The Fresh Market).
But if you want to skip the whole fish, you certainly shouldn’t skip on this delicious recipe for Charmoula Sauce. It’s similar to a Chimichurri Sauce but simplified with a bit more cilantro. This sauce is fresh, flavorful and a nice healthy twist to the typically buttery fish sauce. You could certainly use it with any grilled fish – try a rare tuna, salmon or swordfish.
While this feels more like a summer activity, when it’s 85 on Christmas, it was just right. And a big hit at the table.
Grilled Whole Red Snapper with Charmoula Sauce
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons, fresh lemon juice
- 2 heaping teaspoons, paprika
- 1 teaspoon, ground cumin
- 1 1/2 cup, fresh cilantro
- 1/2 cup, fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup, olive oil
In a food processor, pulse all ingredients together to make a course puree.
Grilled Red Snapper
- 1 whole, cleaned and scaled, fresh red snapper (you can pre-order these at The Fresh Market)
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 6-10 sprigs cilantro
- salt and pepper
Season the inside of the fish with salt and pepper. Stuff with lemon and cilantro.
Heat a grill to high. Drizzle fish with canola oil. Grill on each side for about 15 to 20 mins each (total 30 to 40 mins), closing the grill when cooking. Peal a little of the skin back to see if the fish is flakey – this will indicate the fish is cooked through.
Top with Charmoula Sauce to serve.
I love grilling fish whole, and this charmoula sauce looks delicious. I hope you enjoyed your Christmas in Florida. It really was the warmest holiday season I can remember.