BUTTERED SNAPPER BAKED IN A BANANA LEAF
with a "Steam" of Clams, Boniato, "Bonnets" Saffron and Garlic
Norman Van Aken, COPYRIGHT ©1998
Yield: Serves 4 entrees
For the fish:
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin olive oil
4 Tablespoons butter
2 shallots, peeled and very thinly sliced
1 teaspoon garlic, peeled and minced
cracked black pepper and salt, to taste
4) 7‑8 ounce fillets of snapper, skinned and totally trimmed
4 thin slices of lemon, cut in half
banana leaves, as needed
Combine the olive oil, butter, shallots, pepper and salt in a bowl. Allow to soften and mix well.
Now cut the banana leaves to fit the fish so that they can be wrapped entirely. Use some of the trim to create strips to tie the packages shut.
Place the four fish on top of each banana leaf and evenly divide the butter over the top of the fish. Lay two slices of lemon on each fish and then wrap and tie the fish. Set aside until ready to cook. ~ Be sure to have the buttered side of the fish on top.
For the Steam:
1 Tablespoon virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter
2 shallots peeled and very thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon raw garlic, finely minced
2 scotch bonnets, stem and seeds discarded, finely minced
24 small clams, scrubbed
1 ½ teaspoons thyme leaves
2 bay leaves, broken
1 Cup Chardonnay or white wine
½ teaspoon saffron
1 boniato (or sweet potato) approx. 1 pound, peeled, diced and cooked in water until
just tender, drained well and cooled.
Preheat an oven to 425°
Place the wrapped fillets on a non‑stick baking dish pan and place them in the oven. They will take about 20 minutes to cook.
Let the fish have about a 5 minute head start. Now heat a large, heavy skillet on medium heat. Add the olive oil and the butter. When it melts add the shallots, garlic and scotch bonnets. Stir. Let them cook about 30 seconds.
Now turn up the heat to high and add the clams, thyme and wine. Cover. When the clams opens remove them to a bowl and keep them warm. Add the saffron threads and the cooked boniato. Heat through.
Remove the snapper from the oven and place them on four large dinner plates. Cut them open through the tops with a scissors and peel back the banana leaves a little. Divide the clams and "steam" mixture between four warm serving bowls. Serve. 7/31/94