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Redfish On The Half-Shell

This is a great and simple way to cook a redfish, drum, or any other fish around four or five pounds. It should be done outdoors, because it has only one drawback: in the first few minutes of cooking, the burning scales give off an aroma that is less than appetizing. It doesn’t show up in the finished fish, however, and is soon gone.

As it cooks, the scales will burn very black. However, they will protect the fish from cooking too much, and the juices of the fish will steam up through the fillet. You don’t even need to turn the fish!

A number of restaurants have adopted this as a specialty. The most famous of them is the drumfish Tommy at Drago’s, the recipe for which evolved into the restaurant’s famous char-broiled oysters.

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 4 fillets of drum, redfish, or trout, skin and scales on, about 10 oz. each
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. Mix butter or margarine, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Sprinkle the fish with a little salt and pepper.

2. Heat a gas or barbecue grill and put the fish, skin side down, over the hottest part of the fire.

3. Baste the fish with the garlic butter liberally. It’s best when some of the butter falls into the flames and smokes up over the fish. As it cooks, the scales will burn very black. However, they will protect the fish from cooking too much, and the juices of the fish will steam up through the fillet. The fish is done when the flesh on top becomes opaque.

Serve the fish on the “shell” of its skin, as is.

Serves four

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