By this point in the Holiday Season, we may be reaching our fill of cocktails and nibbles. Here’s a light, fuss free, midweek meal, inspired by South Texas, that’s designed to give you a break between the Food Court, the office break room spread, and the eighth family feast this month. Just arrange the salad, blend the sweet and spicy dressing, then grill the romaine and fish (outside, with a handful of oak chips, for those of you living somewhere your Webber isn’t under a snowdrift. If it is, the grill pan is fine). Helpfully, the ingredients for the salad are still in season in Texas. As a result, you’ll get some bright flavors and a sunnier mood. And won’t that be nice before your final mall run.
Oak-Grilled Red Snapper with Tomatillo Salad and Guajillo Dressing,
For the Dressing:
5 T. olive oil
2 T molasses
1 dried guajillo (or your personal favorite) dried pepper, covered with boiling water and soaked for 30 minutes
2 T French mustard
A squeeze of Meyer lemon juice
Salt to taste
For the Salad:
4 leaves of Romaine
1 medium tomato, sliced in rounds
2-3 tomatillos, sliced in rounds
A few leaves of Sorrel
Cojita or an equivalent, for garnish
For the Fish:
2/3 – ¾ lbs. of Red Snapper Fillets
Salt, Pepper, Olive oil
First make the dressing:
Cut the stem off the pepper and deseed by rinsing quickly. Then roughly dice the pepper. Then combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz for a minute or two. Season if needed. Dressing done.
Then make the salad:
Arrange the tomatoes and tomatillos on a plate with some chopped sorrel, like you’re making a Caprese, Texas-style. Then sprinkle the cojita over the top.
Drizzle the fish and the romaine leaves with olive oil, then season both with salt and pepper.
Grill the fish on medium-low for 10-12 minutes, or until done. When the fillets are almost done, grill the romaine for 10-15 seconds on both sides. The edges should just begin to char.
Place two leaves of grilled romaine on a plate, followed by ½ the fish. Next to that, place a couple of tomatillo stacks, and drizzle generous amounts of dressing over everything. Repeat, serve and enjoy leisurely.
Playlist included So Nice (Summer Samba), by Bebel Gilberto. Because baby, right now, it’s cold outside.