Things I love about living in Miami:
- The beach is across the street and I can use it 9 months of the year.
- Abundant and cheap Cuban food.
- Cuban coffee. (a.k.a. nectar of the gods)
- It’s almost always flip flop weather.
- I can get really good tomatoes all year long. (Don’t hate!)
- Local Stone Crabs in the winter! (Mustard sauce!)
- Running outdoors October – May.
- Yellowtail snapper.
Yellowtail snapper is everywhere down here – swimming around while you cool off in the ocean and piled up in the fish cases at all the grocery stores. It’s a really delicious local white fish that’s tender and flaky, but still sturdy. If you can get a hold of some, a simple preparation is all you need to make a good meal. But even if you can’t find yellowtail near you, this is still a great recipe for your favorite fish – halibut, cod, striped bass, tilapia, rainbow trout, etc. Just make sure the fish you buy is a good environmental choice for your area.
The accompaniment is a super-simple corn salsa perfect for the last days of summer. It’s bright and crunchy, providing a sweet textural contrast the to the rich butter-seared fish. This is one of those recipes you make when you want something special, but don’t want to expend a lot of effort. Just simple ingredients at their best.
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 lb. skinless yellowtail snapper filets,
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. olive oil
4 ears of corn, kernels removed
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 jalapeno, finely minced
3/4 cup cilantro leaves. roughly chopped (use mint if you hate cilantro)
juice of 2 limes (about 1/4 cup)
Place the red onion, jalapeno, cilantro leaves and lime juice in a bowl. Set aside. Sprinkle the snapper filets with
Set a large skillet over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add the olive oil and the corn kernels. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the corn is just tender. Leave the heat on while you transfer the corn to the bowl with the other salsa ingredients and give everything a big stir.
Return the pan to the heat and melt the butter. Add the snapper filets and half-cover the skillet, allowing some steam to circulate and some to escape. If your skillet doesn’t have a cover, tent it lightly with aluminum foil or use the top from one of your stockpots.
Cook the snapper for 3-4 minutes, then carefully and gently flip the filets and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes or until it’s just cooked through at the thickest part. Remove to a serving plate or plates and top with the corn salsa.
Makes 4 servings.