This blog post is not a recipe, but merely a food inspiration.
FOOD Foto JOURNALS
w/ Chef Günter Simbürger
If you know me, then you know my love of seafood. While always being a person who believes in the rights of animals, I have always not been able to break my love of eating fresh fish. I mean, I did grow up in Florida. So... there's that. Ultimately I have adapted the title of a pescatarian with vegan tendencies -- and I love it.
While in Florida, on this last trip, I spent a lot of time with my sister Nicole and her boyfriend Günter. They are both chefs and they were both visiting from there home of Austria. Yes, my sister lives in Austria and yes, she is an incredible maker of food. Whenever I am with Nicole I always learn so much about how to be a smarter cook. She always has some new way of mixing ingredients that always inspires me. This trip however, I was given the blessing of two incredible chefs to learn from and I took full advantage.
Before we all left our Florida vacation, I was able to watch and learn from Günter, how to stuff and grill fresh red snapper. This beauty below was caught right off the coast of my hometown Delray Beach by a local fisherman Capt. Clayton.
Günter is a lover of using the freshest products possible. Literally straight from the farm. In Austria, he was blessed to have fresh produce and livestock so close to home. He loves experiencing new places through the local food and products. Which I believe is the best way to understand a foreign country or even town. Thus us exploring how to use the freshest possible thing in Florida: Red Snapper. Through this food photo journal you will see how he teaches me how to properly stuff a fish for grilling. I had never tried it before myself and literally can't wait to share it with my friends here in Los Angeles.
We begin by marinating some vegetables for the stuffing. On this occasion we went for a Mediterranean feel and used fresh garlic, shallots, red and yellow grape tomatoes, lime, rosemary, thyme and dill. We mix our stuffing together with some olive oil, S+P and lime juice and put it to the side. We then continue by properly slicing the fish carefully down either side of the fin to create little pockets for stuffing. It is important to have a properly sharp knife in order to not destroy the fishes meat. Purchasing a professional knife is now on the top of my list of things I seriously need in my life.
We then take our marinated vegetables, along with some fresh spinach and stuff the fish carefully and not too fully. We then used cooking twine to tie up the snapper nice and tight and smother the exterior with some more oil and salt. You can let it marinate together in fridge for about an hour before cooking or put straight on the grill. If you refrigerate it, make sure to take it out 15 minutes before cooking for it to return to room temperature. We cooked the fish wrapped in tin foil on top of a grill, but you can also cook it just the same in an oven. It takes about 20-25 minutes to cook, so say 10-15 minutes per side.
We pared it with a fresh salad, some warm herb-y garlic bread and some lemon potatoes. It was not only a beautiful experience but such a full experience. As much as it always saddens me to eat living creatures, preparing the fish in its whole state, always reminded me to be thankful for the meat this creature was giving me.
A big thanks to this beautiful red snapper and also to chef Günter Simbürger for letting me photograph him. I always love capturing artists creating.