Short of a trip to Florida, California or Hawaii, the best way I know to deal with the winter grays here in the Midwest is to throw a little sunshine into my food. Or a lot. The old zester got quite a workout today from a good variety of citrus. Both Blood oranges and Meyer lemons are available right now in addition to naval oranges and bright plump limes. But what to make? Desserts were the most obvious choice but I wanted something easy and quick for a main dish.I settled on stuffed Red Snapper with Mango Blood Orange Salsa. Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Stuff a whole snapper (scaled and gutted) with sliced onion, cilantro, orange & lime zest, and salt and pepper. Drizzle the stuffed cavity with a little white wine, then drizzle the outside of the fish with olive oil.Then wrap your fish. You can choose between aluminum foil, parchment or even banana leaves. Depending on how big your fish is, cook 25 to 30 minutes or until the meatiest part of the flesh pulls away from the bones.
While your fish cooks in it's banana leaf snuggie, dice one mango, half an onion, and the flesh of one blood orange. Mix in the juice of a lime and a blood orange and add a handful of cilantro. Drizzle the mixture with a bit of olive oil and season with sea salt. Chill until the fish has finished cooking.Flake the moist fish from the bones and top with salsa. To accompany my fish I quickly steamed some kale until it was just tender then shocked it in cold water to stop the cooking process and keep that beautiful green color. I set it aside while I melted some butter in a saucepan. I added some finely minced shallots to the butter and cooked until they were softened. To that I added a scope full of the water the kale was steamed in and a healthy pour of white wine. You want to reduce that down to at least half. Once that was done I then added the juice of one Meyer lemon and a bit more butter and let that reduce again until it slighty thickens. I drained the kale, squeezing as much water from the greens as I could. Next I roughly chopped the greens and added them to the pan, mixing the sauce and the kale together thoroughly. Serve those luscious greens immediately.
Hello Sunshine. Where have you been? The mango/Blood orange salsa sinks it's juicy roots deep into the mild moist red snapper flesh. The salsa seesaws between the sweetness of the mango, the grapefruit like sourness of the orange, and the bite of the onion. And the kale? The kale's strong bitterness is calmed by the almost sweet-like Meyer lemon sauce. That sauce goes into the data bank to try on other vegetables. A healthy and flavorful meal popping with citrus goodness. Thank you Florida and California for making my gray world just a little brighter.