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Spicy Snapper

  • SERVINGS: 20

F & W's Marcia Kiesel cooks up an escabèche with Caribbean flavor.

  1. 3 3/4 cups white wine vinegar
  2. 3/4 cup sugar
  3. 10 large sprigs fresh thyme
  4. 3 tablespoons crushed allspice
  5. 5 medium carrots, thinly sliced
  6. 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  7. 4 to 6 Scotch bonnet chiles, halved and seeded
  8. Kosher salt
  9. 6 large celery ribs, peeled and sliced crosswise
  10. 2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
  11. 2 red onions, thinly sliced
  12. 2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise
  13. Vegetable oil, for frying
  14. Twenty 6-ounce firm white fish fillets with skin, such as Chilean sea bass or red snapper
  15. Freshly ground pepper
  1. In a large nonreactive saucepan, simmer the first 7 ingredients with 6 tablespoons of salt and 1/4 cup of water for 5 minutes. Cover, remove from the heat and let stand for 20 minutes. Add the celery, bell peppers, onions and zucchini.
  2. Meanwhile, in each of 2 large skillets, heat 1/4 inch of oil. Season the fish fillets with salt and pepper. Add the fillets in batches, skin side down, and cook over high heat until browned on 1 side, about 8 minutes. Turn the fish and cook until done, about 4 minutes. Reduce the heat if the oil gets too hot.
  3. Divide the marinade and the fillets, skin side up, between 2 large deep platters. Scatter the vegetables around the fish. Set aside at room temperature to marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours. Serve at room temperature.
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