Friday, June 10th, 2011 | posted by mike
It’s grilling time and what could be more fancy, elegant and beautiful than a grilled whole fish on a platter.
Out of all the whole fish that we offer there are not many as gorgeous and tasty as the yellowtail snapper. Sure the red snapper is the more famous cousin and the mangrove, mutton, vermilion and lane snappers are no slouches at the table but there’s something about the sweet, subtle, delicate flavor of a fresh yellowtail.
These sub-tropical beauties range from Florida to Brazil. Our fish are caught by hook and line in the Florida Keys and shipped to us still stiff, shining and so fresh they still have a surprised look on their faces. Freshness is everything to us fishmongers. Proper handling from the boat to the plate make all the difference. Yellowtails are very perishable and don’t travel well. Out off all the snapper species we handle, these fish have to move quickly. This could be a reason that you don’t often see this fish on many menus outside of Florida—they just lose it so fast. That fresh sweet delicate flavor will begin to disappear within a couple of days after they’re caught, so make sure when buying that what you’re getting are super fresh domestic fish. A good percentage of all snappers sold in the U.S. are now imported from Central America, Mexico and beyond. Most snapper species travel fairly well and you might find an edible import, but to enjoy yellowtails at their finest they’ve got to be brand fresh from the U.S.A. (which is the only yellowtail snapper we carry at our market).
Besides being a Florida Keys favorite, Cubans love yellowtail snapper. I thought that for this week’s recipe a Cuban Mojo might be great with grilled yellowtail. Mojo is a Latin garlic citrus table sauce that is served with many foods. Great on meats, veggies, fish, it’s kind of a Latin vinaigrette. It’s made with sour oranges (available at Latino groceries) but you can mix fresh OJ and lime juice with good results. The intense, garlicky, sour citrus flavor worked perfectly with the sweet flavor of the yellowtail. The sauce has plenty of flavor so we didn’t marinate the fish.We just basted it with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.
We’ve got plenty of Florida Keys Yellowtail Snapper coming in this weekend, so come on down!