Tonight I traveled to Turks and Caicos Islands. What better destination than the Caribbeans when winter has finally come to southern Europe and all I already dream about is getting my first sunburn of 2016?!
It’s amazing how blogging is bringing me so much fun and opportunities for discovering things I would probably never try otherwise. It’s not that I wouldn’t want to but it’s just that I maybe wouldn’t think about trying those things at all. For instance, for today’s World Food Challenge, I picked “cook a specialty dish from Turks and Caicos Islands” (because yeah, I now use a jar in which I pick a destination for my kitchen’s virtual temporary location). After quite some interesting searches on the Internet, I have decided to make a Grey Snapper, Turks and Caicos Style, with Caribbean Sauce.
I have never been to these islands, but they definitely are now in my bucket list. My searches on the Web taught me that Turks and Caicos own quite a few beaches that are pure Paradise. Moreover, it seems that the food scene is pretty interesting there for those who fancy a good fish, fresh seafood, and rather elaborated dishes overall despite a quite relaxed and rather not snobbish environment. For honoring that dream destination, I’ve decided to push myself a little bit further than usual this time. I just turned 36 years old this month, and tonight was the very first time that I EVER cooked a whole fish by myself. I thought that the opportunity of this World Food Challenge – which obviously had to be about something coming from the ocean – would be a great opportunity to overcome my doubts about this ability of mine to cook a whole fish at all. And I’m so glad I did! To my utmost surprise, this fish was so easy to make and so tasty! I almost couldn’t believe it. The Grey Snapper has a very tender flesh that combines still a good consistency with a high melting power in the mouth, it’s just fabulous. The sauce from the marinade is simple yet extremely flavorsome. No fancy ingredient, no complex combination, all the components of the marinade are basics available in any housewife’s pantry (or easy to find in all regular supermarkets). Simple and efficient. The same as what reflects that very beach, a simple landscape for a simple pleasure of enjoying the beauty of Nature.
This Grey Snapper Caribbean Style from Turks and Caicos Islands is perfect for a light dinner for two, along with a soup in Winter, or a fresh exotic salad in Summer. It is suitable for a diet if you are aiming at weight loss, as it brings on the necessary proteins so that you loose the fat and not the muscles. It’s very healthy too in general, as it provides you with Omega-3 (and helps preventing cardio-vascular diseases), lots of natural minerals (such as potassium that is essential to the heart, or selenium that guarantees the good health of your scalp and stops the shedding of the head skin into dandruffs), and various vitamins (including the B12 that contributes to the good functioning of the brain and the nervous system).
Various recipes over the Web seem to concur in the use of simple ingredients. If one is adding coconut milk, or another is taking the vegetables out of the marinade, they all respond to Caribbean style recipes. I’ve studied several of them and decided to make an attempt at keeping what seemed the best to me for a healthy yet flavorsome dish, without going away from the Turks and Caicos cuisine requirements.
- 1 Grey Snapper (about 500 grams for 2 people)
- 1 onion, minced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 red bell pepper and 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced
- 1 tbsp of ginger
- the juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 3 to 4 tbsp of fish sauce
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 dehydrated vegetable stock cube, crumbled (optional)
- 1/2 tsp of Cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp of paprika
- 4 to 5 tbsp of chopped parsley (leaves and stalks)
- Wash the fish, cut the fins, and make sure the fish has been cleared and cleaned inside (it should have a cut on the side).
- Prepare the marinade with all the ingredients of the list.
- Cover the fish with the marinade, and don’t hesitate to stuff it (gently) a little bit too. It’s better to do it already in the dish that will go to the oven so that you don’t manipulate the Grey Snapper too much.
- Film up the dish and let it rest in the fridge for 3 to 4 hours.
- Preheat the oven at 175 degrees Celsius.
- Bake the fish in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, and serve immediately. It’s perfectly cooked, no need to worry about this (that’s what is amazing about this recipe!)
Interested in my world food recipes? You can check out my Cookbook by clicking here!
Created and Written by Sophie Rebibo-Halimi, © 2016 All Rights Reserved.