Cooking a whole fish can seem a bit intimidating. It’s so much to manage — the head, the tail, the scales, the cleaning. In reality, there are resources available at grocery stores that have invested in their fish departments. Ask the fishmonger to scale and clean the fish for you. Filets are easy to get, if you prefer to have it from the whole fish rather than just whats on display. I went to Whole Foods today and the whole fish all looked so fresh and inviting, One in particular caught my eye. A red snapper with a yellow stripe. The fish from head to tail was about 16 inches — perfect for me and my best friend and official taste tester Ramon. I decided to bake the fish. Much more healthy and a great way to really taste the fresh fish. I seasoned it inside the cavity and on the skin. Slitting the skin on both sides, I placed sliced fresh garlic inside. I seasoned the inside and outside with lavender pepper and salt. Stuffing the fish with thin lime slices, a bit of leeks and spinach. Then I scattered the remaining leek and spinach under and around the fish, drizzled some olive oil over the top and placed in the oven at 400 degrees.
Tip: Set your timer for 10 minutes. Then every four minutes after. Check the fish and you’ll know it’s done when all the “red” from the red snapper is gone. Every oven is different. I had mine on convection bake. It took a total of 22 minutes — with the last four with the fish flipped on it’s underside. This is the BEFORE cooking pic.