Caribbean Creole Red Snapper and Shrimp


Caribbean Creole Red Snapper and Shrimp

I had a dish something like this in Jamaica in the 1970s. I was surprised by how much the cuisine of that island has in common with New Orleans Creole, but with different spices in the seasoning mix. It’s particularly good with red snapper, but works well with redfish, black drum, lemonfish, or any other white fish.

  • 1/2 poblano pepper, seeds and membrane removed
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeds and membrane removed
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, seeds and membrane removed
  • 1 small white onion
  • 1/2 Tbs. chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 1/4 tsp. mace
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbs. white vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4 fillets red snapper, 6-8 oz. each
  • 1 dozen large shrimp
  • Creole seasoning

1. Slice the peppers and the onion into narrow strips (julienne). Combine these in a saucepan with the ginger, bay leaf, tomato juice, peppercorns, mace, allspice, and Worcestershire. Cover the saucepan and bring to a light simmer, until peppers are completely tender and sweet–about 30 minutes.

2. Add vinegar and olive oil and simmer another three minutes. Remove bay leaf from the sauce.

3. Wash the red snapper and shrimp well and season to your taste with Creole seasoning. Heat a charcoal grill or black iron skillet very hot. If using the grill, run the shrimp up sets of two skewers, to make them easier to turn. Sear the fish until opaque and just warm on the inside–two or three minutes per side. The shrimp take less time, and are ready when they’re pink all over and black around the fine edges. Turn both the fish and shrimp only once.

4. Spoon some of the sauce on the plate, and place a fish fillet and three shrimp onto it.

Serves four.

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