Fillet of Red Snapper with Shrimp

This Caribbean pepper is famous for being the hottest chile pepper in the world. They come in a variety of shapes and colors(yellow, orange,green, red,chocolate). Not only are they extremely hot, but they also have a unique,distinctively fruity flavor.

It is the key ingredient in the popular Jamaican Jerk sauce. The habanero is also widely used in many different types of hot sauces. The popularity of this chile pepper continues to grow and is becoming easier to find on the grocery shelf.

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1 whole red snapper (approximately 1-1/2 to 2 pounds), filleted
juice of 1 lime
2 cups fish, chicken, or vegetable stock
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 scotch bonnet pepper
2 scallions
1 small tomato
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
6-8 large shrimp

The vegetables:

1 carrot, julienned
1 head of broccoli, stem removed, divided into pieces
1 chayote, julienned


To prepare the snapper:

Wash the snapper with the lime juice, then cut the fish into large serving pieces. Place a skillet or pan large enough to hold the fish in a single layer over medium heat and bring the stock, thyme, pepper, scallions and tomato to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low until the liquid is barely simmering, and gently place the fish, skin-side up, into the liquid. Poach the fish until it is cooked through and tender, about 15 minutes (the time varies with the thickness of the fish). Ladle the hot liquid over the fish as it cooks. Test the snapper for doneness by pushing a toothpick into the thickest part of the fish. It should encounter a little resistance in the center.

Very gently remove the fish with a slotted spatula and place it on a warmed serving platter. Cover the snapper with foil. Increase the heat under the liquid to medium-high and boil until the volume reduces by one half. Remove the Scotch bonnet pepper and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove the heads, legs, and shells from the shrimp, leaving the meat attached at the tail. Remove the back strip. Put the shrimp in the stock and cook until just pink and firm, about 1 minute. Remove the thyme and scotch bonnet.

To prepare the vegetables:

Place the carrots and broccoli in the boiling water and cook for 1 minute, stirring once. Add the chayote and cook an additional minute, then remove the vegetables from heat, drain and plunge into cold water.

To serve:

Place the fish on individual serving plates and pour some of the reduced stock and shrimp over it. Place a strip of scallion over the fish and serve with the blanched vegetables.

Recipe by Chef Norma Shirley from Norma at the Wharfside, Montego Bay, Jamaica.