A nice big fish is something I will eternally associate with Summer chez moi. I have brilliant, sparkly memories as a child of going on summer holiday to the ocean and over dosing on good sea food. South Africa has, if you ask me, some of the best sea food in the world and I look forward with glee to a trip back to my birth country and a seat over looking a pounding surf with a plate of fresh fish and chips.
One of my favourite fish to cook at home is a snapper, preferably whole. Now, bear in mind that this is a bony little sucker, so I wouldn’t necessarily recommended it as a first date type affair. There’ll be plenty of sucking and plucking and chucking with this on the plate. But a whole fish is still a great way to go for a barbecue, or in the oven, as convenience allows.
Getting your fish from a fish monger is the beat way to go, if you can. You can pick the best fish and have it cleaned and descaled while you wait. Fish doesn’t last, even in the fridge, so either freeze the sucker or eat it same day.
Preheat the oven to 400˚F
Start by rinsing the fish, inside and out, and pat dry with a paper towel. Rub a little olive oil on the skin and season with a bit of salt.
Lay a piece of parchment paper large enough to completely wrap the fish in on the counter.
Slice up a large onion and place half of it on the middle of the parchment.
Chop up 5 or 6 sun dried tomatoes and throw these on top of the onions.
Now grab a handful of fresh herbs, what ever you have. I used a big bunch of parsley, some basil and tarragon. Mince a big clove of garlic, chop the herbs up, mix the two and put half of this on the onion tomato base.
Put the snapper on top of this mix and repeat the layer: onion, tomato and herbs. Drizzle the whole shebang with olive oil.
Wrap the fish up in the parchment, securing with some string, and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes until the flesh is just flaky. Let the fish sit for a couple of minutes before serving with a good garden salad.