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F&W Best New Chef 2017 Nina Compton, of Compère Lapin in New Orleans, makes the most delicious version of Jamaican escovitch, combining the classic crispy pan-fried fish with a sweet and spicy pepper sauce. Slideshow: More Red Snapper Recipes 

Nina Compton
July 2017

Gallery

Bobby Fisher

Recipe Summary

total:
50 mins
Yield:
4
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • In a small bowl, mix the paprika with the cumin, 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper. Using a small, sharp knife, make 3 to 4 shallow slashes on both sides of each fish. Season the fish inside the cavity and all over the outside with the spice mixture, rubbing it into the slashes.

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  • Line a large baking sheet with paper towels. In a very large skillet, heat 1/2 inch of oil until shimmering. Add half of the halved chile and 2 of the fish to the skillet. Cook over moderately high heat until browned and crisp on the bottom, 4 to 5 minutes. Using a large, thin spatula, carefully flip the fish and cook until browned and crisp on the other side, 4 to 5 minutes more. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet to drain. Repeat with the remaining halved chile and fish.

  • Pour off all but 1/2 cup of the oil from the skillet; discard the chile. Add the bell peppers, onion, carrot, garlic, allspice, celery seeds, the minced chile and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until just softened, 5 minutes. Add the vinegar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 5 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Transfer half of the pepper mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Spread the puree on a platter and arrange the fish on top. Spoon the remaining pepper mixture over the fish, garnish with cilantro and serve right away.

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