Snapper recipes for Baked Snapper, Simmered Snapper, Fried Snapper, Broiled Snapper, Poached Snapper, Smoked Snapper
The snappers, Lutjanidae family, live in subtropical and tropical areas of Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Ocean at depths of up to 450 meters. Their name is derived from the canine-like teeth of their upper jaw that can 'snap' vigorously. They can vary from 3-5 lbs and 30cm, as the yellow tail snapper and huge, to 20kg and 1.3m as the grey snapper. Snappers usually feed on fish, crustaceans and snails. Generally all snappers have pointed anal fins and some of the tiny species have a spots on their body such as yellowtail snapper which has yellow spots on top.
Eating fatty fish, such as snapper, as little as 1 to 3 times per month (10 oz of omega-3-rich fish each week) may protect against ischemic stroke (a stroke caused by lack of blood supply to the brain, a blood clot). Eating snapper that's broiled or baked, but not fried, may reduce risk of heart arrhythmia. A healthy way of eating improves the electrical properties of heart cells, protecting against fatal abnormal heart rhythms. Eating even small amounts of fish may protect against ovarian and digestive tract cancers: leukemia, multiple myeloma, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, may protect against renal cell carcinoma, the most common form of kidney cancer.
Snapper, Lutjanidae family
The family includes approximately 100 species; 17 types of snappers harvested from the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean and South Atlantic waters, such as:
Gray Snapper, Mangrove Snapper,
Two of the most commonly collected snappers are Red snapper and Yellowtail snapper.
Yellowtail snapper has a prominent lateral yellow stripe running from snout to tail; this snapper is considered to be one of the tastiest fish. This delicate, nutritious fish can be compared in texture and flavor to its cousin, the red snapper and can be seasoned and cooked in a variety of ways.
Red snapper is a firm-textured, white-fleshed fish that has red and pink skin, is one of the best known and the finest red snapper in the USA. The moist, white flesh of the red snapper has a delicate sweet flavor; in addition they have delicious skin.
Snapper can be prepared numerous ways: broiled, baked, steamed, poached, fried or grilled. Red snapper responds well to most cooking methods. Try baking whole red snapper stuffed with fresh herbs and seasonings. Red snapper is excellent for grilling, and spring is the perfect time to fire up the barbecue. Lemon, butter and fresh chili peppers are great ways to season Red snapper.
Snapper Cooking Tips
The general rule is 10 minutes per inch of thickness, at the thickest part of the fillet or steak, at 400º to 450ºF.
Fish fillets less than 1/2in thick do not have to be turned during cooking.
When fish cooked in parchment, sauce or foil, add 5 additional minutes to the total cooking time.
The cooking time for frozen fish should be doubled. It is better to thaw fish prior to cooking.
Do not overcook, fish is done when the flesh becomes opaque and flakes easily at the thickest part when tested with a fork.
Always oil the grill to prevent fish from sticking.
Buying and Storing Tips:
When purchasing whole red snapper, look for a shiny surface with tightly adhering scales and gills that are deep red or pink. Also watch for a clean, shiny belly cavity with no cuts and a mild aroma, similar to the ocean. Fresh steaks, fillets and loins should have a translucent look and flesh that is firm and not separating. There should be no discoloration and proper packaging that keeps the fish from being bent in an unnatural position. The flesh of the red snapper fillets should gleam and have minimal gaping. Smell is a good indicator of freshness.
When storing red snapper, it is important to keep it cold since fish is very sensitive to temperature. The best is to place well wrapped red snapper in a baking dish filled with ice on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, which is its coolest area. Replenish ice one or two times per day. Fresh whole red snapper should be buried in ice, while fillets should be placed on top of the ice. Store fresh snapper in the refrigerator at 32-38°F and use it within 2 days, or freeze in water in an air-tight bag or container and use within 6 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or under cold running water. Always marinate seafood in the refrigerator.
How to Fillet a Snapper:
Scale the fish if you plan on keeping the skin on. Staring at the tail, run the dull side of your knife backwards along the fish. Scraping the fish in short strokes, taking care to remove all the scales. If you plan on removing the skin, scaling isn’t necessary.
Cut the fish behind the gills down to the backbone. Hold the knife towards the head at an angle to keep the most meat on the fillet. Slide your knife down along the fish’s spine all the way to the tail. Take care to keep the knife as close to the backbone as possible to not waste any of the meat. Lay the fillet skin side down on the table. To remove the skin, slide your knife between the meat and skin and work your knife back and forth until you reach the end of the fillet. Place your knife under the ribs attached to the fillet. Cut the ribs off by sliding your knife under them and cutting them out from top to bottom. Use pliers to remove any remaining rib bones.
Rinse the fillets with clean water to remove any debris. Place them in a freezer bag and freeze if you will be storing them, or cook them immediately to get the most from the freshly filleted Grouper.
It is also a very healthy food source. 4-ounce of uncooked red snapper contains just 110 calories, less than 1 gram of fat, 50 mg of sodium, only 45 mg of cholesterol and 0 g saturated fat. Red snapper has 23 grams of protein, which is equal in protein to shrimp and also contains calcium, phosphorous, potassium and iron. Snapper is an excellent source of vitamins B12, B6 and very important trace mineral, selenium.
4-ounce serving can provide almost 15% of our daily value for omega-3 fatty acids, 66.2% of the daily value for vitamin B12; it will supply 26.0% of the daily value for B6, provide 79.4% of its daily value of selenium and 59.6% of the daily value of protein. The combined nutrient strengths of snapper make it an outstanding food for helping stabilize blood sugar, since omega 3 fatty acids, protein, and B complex vitamins are all involved in blood sugar balancing.
Substitutes for Snapper:
Red Grouper, Swordfish, Tilefish
The omega-3 fatty acids found in snapper help prevent erratic heart rhythms. These fatty acids in fish also make blood less likely to clot inside arteries (which are the ultimate cause of most heart attacks and strokes). Omega-3s improve the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol and play a role in preventing cholesterol from clogging arteries.
Vitamin B6 is essential for the body's processing of carbohydrate (sugar and starch), especially the breakdown of glycogen, the form in which sugar is stored in muscle cells and to a lesser extent in our liver. Along with vitamin B12, vitamin B6 plays a pivotal role as a methyl donor in the basic cellular process of methylation. Also vitamin B12 plays an essential role in the production of red blood cells and prevention of anemia, is also needed for nerve cells to develop properly, and helps cells metabolize protein, carbohydrate, and fat.
Selenium is needed for the proper function of the antioxidant system, which works to reduce the levels of damaging free radicals in the body. Selenium is a necessary cofactor of one of the body's most important internally produced antioxidants, glutathione peroxidase, and also works with vitamin E in numerous vital antioxidant systems throughout the body. Selenium is involved in DNA repair, one of its potential ways in which it may afford protection against cancer. Additionally, selenium has been found to be associated with decreased asthma and arthritis symptoms and in the prevention of heart disease.
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