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Gary Finch: recipe for Red Snapper

Dockside Cafe.
(Gary)  It's snapper season and Ernie we've been dying to find a new recipe.  Not only is snapper season open, but we've got some snapper, but we are going to actually properly show people how to blacken fish. 

(Gary)  All right, tell me real quick, what's the most important things that you need to think about?

(Ernie)  Cast iron skillet. 
(Gary)  Cast iron skillet?

(Ernie)  That's what does it.  It generates the heat evenly across the bottom of the pan, it gets really, really hot.  That's the way my grandmother used to do it. That's the way I do it.  That's the best way.  You got to get that grease hot.  You got to use that clarified butter and get it hot baby.

And you notice, I make my own blackened seasoning and we'll give you the recipe for that on the web site because we are kind of pressed for time right now, but the key is to coat the fish properly.  You want to coat every crevice and every bit of it so the flavor goes through.  And the key is you don't want to flip more than one time.  You want to place the fish in the hot skillet.  Let the one side brown until it's ready, flip it one time, let it cook all the way through and you're done.  A lot of people try to flip, flip, flip and the fish will break apart and it won't have the presentation or cook properly.  But this how you want to do it folks.  You see how it's grilling really nice.  It's really hot, it's cooking evenly, it's right where we want it to be Gary.  And what I look for, Gary, is on the side of the fish right here, where it's the thickest.  As I see it starting to brown and it's starting to color as it goes up, once it gets the half way I know it's time to flip that fish over and finish the other side. 

Let's do it!

(Gary)  And this is something you want to be careful about too, right?

(Ernie)  Absolutely folks, you want to be very careful when you do this because it could be dangerous.  Now look how perfect that is, that blackening is on top of that fish.  Look at that right there, look at that right there! That's how we do it here at the Dockside.  Oh, look at that, Gary.  Now we are going to finish it up, folks and make it Arcadian with this crawfish etouffe.  AW BABY!

(Gary)  Now when you catch your snapper, you've got another recipe.