January 13, 2016
The picture’s not so beautiful. The fish, however, was. When we found a whole red snapper at the fish market here on St. John yesterday, it started speaking to me. The eyes were clear, the skin glossy, the scent clean and briny.
I’d forgotten how easy it is to cook a whole fish. We rubbed the fish inside and out with salt and then stuffed it with all the aromatics we had on hand. Onions, garlic, thyme, parsley all went into the cavity. Then we massaged the snapper with olive oil, sprinkled it with salt and put it in a roasting pan. I poured a bit of white wine around it, more for the way it would perfume the air than for any practical purpose. Then we put it into a 425 degree oven for about half an hour.
The aroma of wine and herbs mingled with the scent of the sea as the fish cooked in the oven. It was the most enticing smell. When I checked the temperature (the fish was about 3 and a half pounds), it was 135 at the thickest part behind the head. I let it rest for ten minutes, then sprinkled it with lime juice and took it to the table.
So completely delicious. And no work at all.
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