Hog Snapper, with its delicate texture, mild flavor and slightly sweet undertones is, imho, best served with as little preparatory competition as possible. For my money, it is all too easy to lose the fish in the prep if you are not careful. Simply prepared, Hogfish pairs well with a wide range of “stouter” dishes. All that in mind, I have opted to pan sear the fish using a straightforward compound butter, pairing with a beet salad that brings extra sweetness, tang & herbs to the table.
The Beet Stack
1 large red beet
1 large golden beet
1 tbsp minced shallot
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 dash of teaspoon black pepper
1 tbsp walnut oil
4 oz herbed goat cheese (chevre)
2 tablespoons salted shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
1 oz mâche rosettes (what the heck is this?) See Here
The Hog Snapper
12oz – 16oz – Hogfish Fillets
2 tbsp compound butter
We’ll start with the side dish as it is significantly more time intensive and complex than the fish itself to prepare.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Trim and wash the beets. Double wrap the beets, separately, in aluminum foil and roast in the oven for 1 hour & 20 minutes.
Prepare the dressing. Combine and whisked the minced shallot, lemon juice, pepper and walnut oil.
Remove the beets from the oven. Let cool until they are easy to handle. Remove skin and slice, whole, in 1/2″ thick sections.
Begin each stack with the beet of your choice. apply a dollop of the chevre, spreading to cover the entire section. Add beet #2 (alternate the colors) and repeat the chevre. Also, add a sprinkle of pistachios to this section. Place the last section (again, alternate the color).
Plate the stack. Drizzle dressing on the plate and sprinkle pistachios over the dressing. Top the stack with the mache and you are ready to move onto the fish.
Let’s make a little compound butter. It’s so easy! Soften a stick of butter and add in the herbs and spices of your choice. Easy does it. A little goes a long way.
Clean up a couple of nice looking Hogfish filets.
Rub some butter (1 tbsp total) on one side of the fillets.
Heat the rest of the butter in an iron skillet, add the fish, unbuttered side down and sear for 3-4 minutes. Flip the fillets, cooking for another 3-4 minutes or until cooked through. Hogfish is a tender cut so, don’t over cook it.
Remove from the skillet, plate with the beet salad and it’s off to the dining room table.
This meal served for Valentine’s Day Dinner at our house this year and was a big hit.
Bon appetit & tight lines.