I know I’ve mentioned before that there are some recipes I just didn’t grow up with and some I’m not familiar with at all so that it’s hard for me to visualize the end product. This recipe happened to have been a little of both. It wasn’t until I actually sat down to eat it that I realized that it’s one of those fish variations that restaurants in the Keys offer.
If you’ve been to Key Colony Inn in Marathon (just to name one restaurant that features the fish varieties), you know you get to pick your fish and then decide on the type of preparation. Some examples are:
- Lorenzo: lightly breaded, sauteed in lemon, butter and sherry, topped with mushrooms, crabmeat stuffing and bernaise sauce. This one always makes me smile because I think of my friends (with last name Lorenzo) taking their catch in and asking them to cook it "their" style – I don’t know if they do that, but if my last name were Lorenzo, I’d do it.
- Senator: lightly breaded, sauteed in lemon, butter and parsley with mushroom, almonds and sherry.
- Meuniere: lightly breaded, sauteed in lemon, butter and parsley.
I never really took the time to think through the variety of preparations – possibly because it wasn’t something I could visualize. I would go with the Lorenzo style most often, because of the simple reason I mentioned above – it was the only one I could relate to. I don’t personally know any Senators. And, after Googling ‘meuniere’, I found out it’s a french method and a french sauce, so I didn’t have any affiliation there, either. As you can see, I’m very thorough in my food selection process.
Recipe #106: Pargo Almendrina
This was the last of the snapper that remained from my husband’s fishing trip last summer. It held up pretty well in the freezer all this time. Nitza calls for a pound of pargo (snapper) filets to be marinated well with garlic, salt, juice of a lemon and black pepper.
Once I finished the marinade, I let the fish sit in it while I prepared my Killer Rice. Once the Killer Rice was under cover, I got back to the fish.
You basically take the fish out of the marinade, dredge it in flour and into two sticks of butter you’ve melted in a skillet.
Once the fish is done on both sides, you take the filets out and get to the Almondine sauce.
In the same skillet, with the butter that was left over, you sautee a chopped up onion. While that sautees, you add some flour to white wine in a measuring cup. Make sure the flour dissolves and when the onion is ready, you add in the flour white wine liquid to the skillet. Once the liquid starts to thicken, you add the slivered almonds (Nitza asks for them to be toasted, which I hadn’t noticed until this point, so I went with just untoasted slivers).
The sauce becomes thick and creamy-like. Once you get to the thickness you like, pour it over your fish filets and serve with Killer Rice to your hungry family. The smell of this preparation will give you an audience, guaranteed.
So now, with this recipe under my belt, I can tell you there’s a whole other world out there besides Snapper Lorenzo. Key Colony Inn has Snapper Almondine on their menu and I can picture myself showing up with this version of it for them to explore. That, or I’ve got to get myself back to Key Colony Inn for some secret taste comparisons.