Thursday, November 29, 2012

Red Snapper w/ Pickled Pearl Onions, Bean Medley, & Fortified Fish Stock Beurre Blanc


"You can cook fish any time you want, baby."  The exact response I heard after Andy straight devoured this plate.  I was kinda iffy about the beans, and didn't know if he'd like them - but he ate every last bit of them! 

Not only is this just a plate of simple, humble foods - but it's absolutely gorgeous!  Or I think so, anyway. 

Dress up a fish stock, reduce it down, and whisk in some butter for a downright flavorful sauce that you can put on practically any fish, any time.


Red Snapper:

2 - 6 oz. red snapper fillets 
salt and pepper, to taste
flour, for dusting
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Pickled Pearl Onions:

1 cup pearl onions (about 12-16), peeled
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon pickling spice

Bean Medley:

1 cup dried cranberry beans, soaked overnight (or at least 3-4 hours)
1 cup lima beans (I used frozen)
2 cups chicken stock
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Fortified Fish Stock Beurre Blanc:

1/2 cup fish/seafood stock
juice from 1 lemon
1 cup white wine
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
salt and pepper, to taste

You can use fresh cranberry beans for this too, if you can find them.  I just happened to have some dried sitting in my pantry, for what seems like forever, so I figured I'd use them up. 

Add chicken stock to a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil.  Add cranberry beans and turn down to simmer.  Cover and let cook for about 30-45 minutes.  You can add water to the pot if needed, or if there is not enough liquid to cover beans.  Drain and set aside.

In a small saucepan, bring the red wine vinegar, sugar, and water to a boil.  Simmer until sugar is dissolved.  Place pearl onions into a small container with peppercorns and pickling spice.  Pour vinegar-sugar liquid over top of the pearl onions.  Place in the refrigerator, uncovered, for about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 425 F.

To make the beurre blanc, combine the stock, lemon juice, and white wine in a medium saucepan.  Turn heat onto medium high and reduce liquid to about 2 tablespoons.  Turn heat to low, and while whisking constantly, add butter cubes one at a time.  Make sure not to add more butter until the previous cube is almost entirely incorporated/emulsified in.  When all of butter is added, stir in chopped parsley and season to taste.  Keep sauce warm until needed.  Be sure to watch it carefully, making sure it does not break on you.  (You can help prevent the beurre from breaking by adding heavy cream to the reduced liquid before whisking in the butter, but you don't necessarily need to do that.)

Heat a large oven-proof saute pan under medium high heat.  Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan.  Season snapper fillets with salt and pepper and dredge in flour, shaking off any excess.  Add fillets to the pan and cook until browned on the first side, about 2-3 minutes.  Flip fillets over and transfer pan to the oven to finish cooking, about 3 minutes.  Carefully take pan out of oven and let fish rest for 1-2 minutes.

Heat a medium saute pan under medium high heat and add 2 tablespoons of butter.  Add cranberry beans and frozen lima beans (be careful - any residual water/ice on beans may cause butter/oil to splatter) to the pan.  Cook until warm and slightly caramelized around the edges.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To plate, place a mound of bean mixture on the center of the plate.  Top with snapper fillet and pearl onions.  Top with beurre blanc. 

Bam!  Art on a plate.  I loved this because it wasn't overly unhealthy (can't really argue with the beurre blanc being a healthy addition, but it's damn tasty) - but everything else on the plate is full of protein and nutrition!  I know it may seem a little time consuming, but a lot of the stuff you can pre-prepare ahead of time - like the beans and the pickled onions.

Hope you guys have a great rest of the week!


  1. Totally restaurant quality! It sounds delicious!

  2. Delicious, I need to visit when you open a restaurant.

  3. Andy is one lucky man.... this is a beautiful meal. I would have eaten every morsel too. :)

  4. This dish looks so divine! I absolutely would love to try it!

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  6. Wow, truly a showstopper here, Peggy. A very rich and enticing dish - I'll bet this satisfies deeply. As always, your photography is impeccable and gorgeous!

  7. Great looking dish!! I have a dinner coming up that you just gave me some inspiration, thank you.