california grenadier is here
Grenadier, at our Farmers’ Markets we call it Black Snapper. It is also commonly referred to as “Pacific Roughy,” and if you’re a fan of the Orange Roughy – then you’re in luck. The name doesn’t lie; it tastes like the Orange Roughy’s smarter, better looking, more sophisticated, Pacific cousin. We love it. I often suggest it to my market customers who either aren’t sure they love fish (duh) or have children that are picky. It is mild, flaky, delicious. UG-LY as heck though, man – what a fish! I’m not even going post a picture on here it’s so ugly. JFGI if you dare. No, but never mind that. Let’s get back to discussing how delicious it is… and versatile to cook –give it a sauté, poach, steam, bake, or broil. Best of all – it’s caught right here in our bay by our local hook and line boys along with Sablefish/Black Cod. So here’s the thing…let’s get back to that “grey matter” I was discussing earlier. Watchdogs might tell you to “Avoid” this fish. This is where H&H breaks it down on a local level; there are 6 different species of Grenadier, much is not known about our local species which can lead to an overly extreme amount of caution. In other parts of the world Grenadier is often caught incidentally in bottom-trawl fisheries. Even the MBA’s small print will tell you “habitat damage is less of a concern with bottom longlines” and that “little is known about the grenadier species found in the Pacific Ocean.” Our California Grenadier gets a bad rap because it gets grouped with Giant and Pacific Grenadier. The moral of our story? Shop Local. Ask your trusted fishmongers. Read the small print.
In general, you can easily use any snapper recipe you enjoy for Grenadier. It has a bit of a finer, smaller grain than most “Red Snapper”, or Rockfish. This is part of what makes it so delicate and tasty, but it adapts to most snapper recipes just perfectly.
In honor of our recent Mexico trip, (not tacos cause I can’t even look at another taco) here’s a nice, simple recipe adapted by Hans and I that we love:
1 lb grenadier fillets
2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (I almost always sub coconut oil but that’s just my preference here)
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated fresh lime zest lime wedges
Preheat broiler and lightly oil a shallow baking pan (1 inch deep). Pat fish dry and arrange in 1 layer in baking pan. Brush fish with oil total and sprinkle with salt and pepper. (Lightly heat coconut oil to spread easily) Toss together cilantro, garlic, and zest in a small bowl. Broil fish 6 inches from heat, without turning over, until just cooked through, 6 to 10 minutes. Transfer fish to a platter/plate and sprinkle with cilantro mixture. Serve with lime wedges.
Here’s a sauté recipe that looks delicious courtesy of finecooking.com. Don’t worry that the recipe calls for skin-on snapper – it’s just as well to have the skin already off which your Snapper does. Sometimes the skin on can add flavor to your dish but in this case it won’t matter. Also, you needn’t worry about the bones either, we’ve taken those out for you as well. Geez, I don’t know where finecooking.com gets their snapper but we’re hooking you up with the fine fillet job. The fish will be delicate so use caution when flipping it. Also, keep in mind the recipe calls for 4 6-oz fillets (= 1.5 lbs) so adjust the recipe accordingly depending on your portion size. Let me know if any of you try this recipe…I’d love to know how it is.
And please don’t be shy! Show off your dinner for all to see here…