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Pan Seared Red Snapper with Pineapple Habanero Cream Sauce

Tis the season…. American Red Snapper season that is, and this Gulf of Mexico delight offers one of the tastiest treats around. Snapper has a relatively¬† mild, sweet taste with just enough oils in the flesh so it can stand up to some interesting kitchen riffs. Here’s one you’ll like.


The Snapper
American Red Snapper Filets
Sweet Salted Butter

The Sauce
Candied Pineapple – diced
Habanero Pepper – diced
Heavy cream
White pepper
Orange Zest (optional)
Cardamom (optional)
Dust O’ Death (optional hot powder)

The Tool
Cast Iron Skillet



You’d be forgiven if you call this sauce a Pineapple Habanero Roux instead. Aside from employing regular, not clarified, butter the sauce is prepared much the same as a roux.


Heat your butter, add the candied pineapple & habanero. The optional orange zest and cardamom are added here if you choose. Saute for 1-2 minutes to release the oils in the pepper and then add in the flour. Cook in the flour, salt & white pepper for a 2-3 minutes or so, adding your heavy cream as needed that to reach the consistency your desire. Total cook time should be 5-7 minutes. You want the sauce darkened… not blackened:)


Remove from heat and set aside

Pineapple Habaner Cream

Season your filets – set aside


With your cast iron skillet inside, heat your oven to 350 degrees. When the oven and skillet reach 350 degrees, carefully remove and to the stove top. Place the filets in the skillet. Sear for one minute. Turn the filet, top with a pat of butter each and return the skillet to the oven for 2-3 minutes depending on the thickness of your filets. Remove on time…. you do not want rubbery fish.


To plate the fish, put a generous dollop of the sauce on a plate placing the fish on top.



If you like, garnish with some Boxwood, Thai or Globe Basil and you are set to go. This preparation also works well for fish tacos. Give it a try.

If you want to try this dish out, you’ll need to get busy. The ARS season is super short this year so, get out this weekend, get a few in the bag and rush home to enjoy while you can.


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