Blue snapper steaks are best when braised in a liquid that is rich in flavor. Snapper dries out rapidly when prepared with a dry heat source, but when made in a braising liquid it not only comes out moist, but you have a rich sauce to serve it with. Blue snapper is known for having firm pink flesh, and it makes a very presentable dish for special occasions.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Season the snapper steak with salt and pepper, and any combination of other herbs you like to put on your fish.
Place the seasoned steak in an oven-safe frying pan just large enough to accommodate it. By cooking it in a small pan, you will be able to use the minimum amount of liquid, and the juices from the fish will be concentrated nicely when you are finished braising the snapper.
Add a liquid in with the snapper before you begin cooking it. Add just enough liquid to surround it on all sides without going over the top of the steak. The liquid will combine with the juices from the steak and create a sauce you can serve with it. Some excellent choices of liquid, according to "Cooking" author James Peterson, are white wine, sherry, vegetable broth, hard cider, beer and fish broth.
Dice up and add any aromatic herbs and bulbs into the liquid surrounding the steak. Some good options are mushrooms, shallots, chiles, lemon grass and garlic. The added herbs will give more flavor to your sauce when the fish is finished.
Heat the frying pan over medium heat, until the liquid surrounding the snapper begins to boil.
Immediately cover the pan with aluminum foil, and place it into the oven. Cook the fish for nine minutes for each inch of thickness. Periodically remove the pan from the oven, and check the steak for doneness. Peel some of the flesh from the center of the steak; if it flakes apart easily it is finished cooking.
- “Cooking”; James Peterson; 2007
- UC San Diego: Braising and Stewing