One of the first questions I received in reference to my recipes page is: "Where are your recipes for grouper, snapper, flounder, snook, etc.?"
I had to stop and think about that. These are the fish I eat the most and I don’t have a recipe for them or is the recipe in itself, the less you do the better it is for these mild flavored fish.
Let’s put the fish in two categories, fatty and non fatty. Fatty fish have a strong taste that only a few enjoy without a sauce, marinade, or cooking method to subdue the oily flavor. Mackerel, salmon, bluefish, tuna, and redfish are some of these fish.
On the other hand, non fatty fish such as grouper, flounder, snook, and snapper when cooked FRESH have a delicate flavor that could be easily lost in a sauce. Non fatty fish can be cooked in any method you like. Just season the fish with salt and paprika for color. Use olive oil, butter, or light oil to keep the fish from sticking. Do not overcook, but cook long enough to acquire the firmness you like. Serve your condiments like lemon, malt-vinegar, tarter sauce, etc. on the side. If you need to disguise your fish, non fatty fish can be used in most any recipe for stronger fish as long as you can match the thickness of the fish your recipe calls for.
Deep-fried fish is a favorite of many! I save this cooking for outside because of the smoke. You need lots of very hot oil, with very cold fish and batter. I put my fish and batter in bowls surrounded by ice to keep them chilled and get the oil hot with a gas burner. Hot oil and cold fish is the key to a crispy coating with less oil saturation.
Fatty fish is usually not deep fried but some people do enjoy them sautéed in a frying pan. Fatty fish is considered to be best when broiled, baked, or put on the charcoal grill.
One thing about fish is that you never want to over cook it because no matter how fresh a fish is, if you overcook it and it starts to burn, it will stink like old rotten fish.
Capt. Tony Blizzard