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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Oh Snap!

The Ingredients (for 4 to 6 servings):

  • 60 g (or ⅓ cup) of sundried tomatoes
  • 60 g (or ½ cup) of almonds, preferably Marcona
  • 45 g (or ⅓ cup) of pitted kalamata olives
  • 15 g (or ½ cup) of parsley, preferably flat-leaf or Italian
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 30 ml (or 2 tablespoons) of salad grade olive oil
  • 1 red snapper weighing approximately 900 g (or 2 lb)
  • 1 red onion, weighing approximately 220 g (or 8 oz)
  • 30 ml (or 1 tablespoon) of balsamic vinegar
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • cooking grade olive oil

The Method:
  1. Place the dried tomatoes in almost boiling water and allow them to soak until the water is cool enough to handle.
  2. Set the oven to heat to 220°C (or 425°F).
  3. Remove the tomato slices from the water, squeeze them gently, and chop them roughly.
  4. Place the tomato slices with the almonds, olives, parsley, and garlic into a blender or food processor and grind them, gradually adding the salad grade olive oil, until a thick but spreadable paste is formed.
  5. Rinse the snapper and open it up as much as possible along the line of the belly, pressing it out as flat as possible on its back.
  6. Spread the almond-olive paste inside the snapper, and fold it back into its original shape as much as possible.
  7. Spray or drizzle enough cooking grade olive oil on the skin of the snapper to cover it with a thin film.
  8. Salt and pepper the skin to taste.
  9. Place the snapper on a baking tray lined with foil and bake it in the oven for 20 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, peel the onion and remove the root but keep the core intact.
  11. Cut the onion into 12 wedges through the core so that each wedge is held together at the bottom.
  12. Spray or smear a baking pan with cooking grade olive oil and place the onion wedges in the pan. Lightly spray or brush them with the olive oil.
  13. Bake the onion for 15 minutes, then remove them and turn off the oven.
  14. Sprinkle or drip the balsamic vinegar onto the onion wedges.
  15. Add the cherry tomatoes into the baking pan and stir them to coat with some of the olive oil and vinegar.
  16. Allow the onion and tomatoes to rest in the cooling oven for 5 minutes, or until ready to be added to the snapper on a serving dish.

      The Story:

      I found this recipe on the hoof, using my cell phone to search "Greek stuffed snapper", when we discovered a nice snapper in the seafood section of our local market. It was not the combination of ingredients that I had been imagining as "Greek", but looked interesting and I had half of the ingredients in the refrigerator at home. Good choice, we enjoyed it served with a spinach-mushroom stir fry with garlic and a hint of goat cheese, over brown rice.

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