Red Snapper Chipotle Meunière
My little hometown of Alameda, CA has surprisingly famous things you wouldn't expect from a sleepy little suburban town on the bay. Among our notables include Hangar One Vodka, the creation of Skippy peanut butter, the location of Mythbusters, the home of the USS Hornet, and now the headquarters of Peet's Coffee& Tea.
Food-wise, though, it has a few cute little restaurants but very few places worth driving especially to the island (as locals call it) for. Then, a few years ago, the Alameda Marketplace opened up.
My initial impressions were that it would never survive. Things were too expensive, too specialized and didn't seem to fit in with the community. The produce, while organic, never looked fabulous, and the only thing that interested me were the pastries they purchased from local bakeries.
Now I realize I didn't understand the place, and that I also didn't really know how to cook to appreciate the amazing ingredients they have there. Feel Good Bakery has some of the best baguettes in the East Bay excluding ACME, although my pet peeve with them is that they are expensive and do not label their goods with prices.
I've slowly started to get to know the other vendors there, with JP Seafood Company being my favorite. They remind me of Captain Marden's in the Boston area, with impeccable seafood and knowledgeable people behind the counter who will gladly source things for you that they don't have in stock. Baron's Meat & Poultry across the way has meat dry aging in a special refrigerator, what more can you ask for? They don't have the rare and game meats that Savenor's in Boston has, but they are friendly and helpful. In fact, when I went in yesterday and bought an onglet, he referred me to the seafood stand (good thing I was already headed there!).
So I'm proud of my cute little hometown, with its drawbridges and bay breezes. Here's what I did with the red snapper I bought from JP Seafood, turned out well served with caramelized onion Israeli couscous and steamed baby bok choy!
Red Snapper Chipotle Meunière
This is a twist on the classic French sole meunière, where delicate white fish is covered in a browned butter citrus sauce. Here, chipotles spice it up. Any thin white fish will work here. Use a nonstick pan and have your sauce ingredients ready before cooking, as the sauce comes together quickly!
2 skinless red snapper fillets (about 6 - 8 ounces each)
salt and pepper
2/3 cup cornstarch
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon adobo sauce + 1/2 teaspoon finely minced chipotle pepper
(both from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce)
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon fresh minced cilantro
- Pat fish dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides. Place cornstarch in a shallow plate and dredge fish on both sides, shaking off excess.
- Heat oil in nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add fish and cook, unmoved, for 3 - 4 minutes, until golden brown. Carefully flip over and cook until fish is golden brown and cooked through, another 2 -3 minutes. Transfer to plates.
- Turn heat down to medium and wipe out skillet carefully with a paper towel. Add butter and swirl to coat bottom of pan and melt. Let butter foam and start to brown, about 1 minute. Turn off heat, add salt, chipotles, and lime juice and swirl pan again. Pour over fish and sprinkle with fresh cilantro.