Fish for Good Friday

Snapper 1Whether you observe the Easter holiday, give up something for Lent, or just like to keep it light, whipping up this Hemp Crusted Red Snapper is one heck of a ‘good’ Friday dinner (nuk nuk nuk). With a crisp layer of hemp seeds that have the most delicate nutty flavour, a sweet and zingy sauce, and delicious green beans, this dinner is not just simple, it’s fresh and downright fantastic. And there’s nothing quite like swinging by to see ‘your guy’ at the market for everything you need to delight your taste buds and impress your friends.

Market-Sourced Ingredients:
Serves 4

2 Red Snapper* filets from Blu Seafood

2 Bags of  Green Beans from Gull Valley Greenhouses

Hemp and Almonds from Going Nuts

1 Jar of Maple Mustard from A Taste of Quebec

1 Orange and 1 Lemon from Souto Farms

Baltimore Bay Line Seasoning from The Silk Road Spice Merchant

Flour

Oil

Salt & Pepper

*Halibut, Cod, or Pickerel will also work very well in this recipe.

Snapper 2

Some people are afraid of cooking fish; the skin sticks to the pan, the flesh breaks apart, it’s overcooked.  Oh my!  Take a deep breath, this really is very easy.  Squeeze lemon juice over the snapper, season with salt and pepper, and a dash of Baltimore Bay Line Seasoning from The Silk Road Spice Merchant, you’re well on your way to making this fish your slave.

Snapper 4

Now comes the fun part!  Set up a little ‘station’: a plate with 1/2 cup all purpose flour and another with hemp.  After seasoning both sides of the red snapper, you’ll want to gently place it in the flour and lightly cover all parts.  Then, transfer the fish to the plate of hemp seeds and repeat the process as with the flour.  This part requires a little more love, you’ll have to help the hemp seeds along the way; you kinda want the fish and hemp to hug a little to make them really stick.  Corny, yes.  Effective?  You betcha.

Snapper 5

Don’t be afraid to really cover the red snapper all over with the hemp; this is what is going to give the filet a real crunch.  Kind of like a fried fish, but healthier and a whole new kind of yummy.

Snapper 6

Place oil (you can get creative here using the tried-and-true olive oil or a more interesting, vibrant cold-pressed Canola oil from Innisfail Growers which might just be sunshine in a bottle), but I digress.  Heat the pan to just above medium (too hot and you’ll scorch the oil, hence burning the hemp).  To test if your pan is hot enough: dip the tip of the fish in, if you hear a sexy sizzle, it’s ready.  Then, place the snapper into the pan and let the magic happen.  You don’t need to move it around or fiddle with it, just let it cook.

Now would be a good time to get a pot of water boiling to steam the green beans.

After 4-5 minutes (when the hemp seeds are golden), with a wide spatula (if you’re a stickler for doing it by the book, preferably a fish spatula), turn the fish over and repeat.

Don’t go away!  You need to drop the beans in the steamer.  These only need a couple of minutes as we don’t really want to suck all of the life out of them; they should be bright and with a little snap left in them.

Snapper 3And the pièce de résistance, the orange maple mustard…. drizzle.  Yeah, we’ll call it a drizzle.  This is the easiest and oh-so-yummy accompaniment to fish and it takes, count ’em, two ingredients.  The juice of half an orange (or a whole cute mini orange), and about a tablespoon of the zippy, sweet mustard from A Taste of Quebec.  Combine the two and voilà!  No one needs to know you didn’t slave over this sauce, it’ll be our little secret.

At this point, the fish now with a glowing golden hemp crust and the beans, still full of life, should be done.  Place the fish on a platter and garnish the beans with a small pat of butter, salt and pepper, a quick squeeze of lemon, and a third of a cup of sliced almonds.  If you really wanted to be fancy, you could toast the almonds simply by placing them in a hot pan, tossing them often so as not to let them burn.  Do you have to do this?  Absolutely not.  Will your beans suffer from not having toasty almonds?  Nope.  It’s your call.  Lastly, drizzle the sauce (oh the one you just whipped up?  why yes, that one!) onto the fish.  This is a ‘as little or a lot as you like’ kind of drizzle.

Snapper 7

And there you have it friends: Hemp Crusted Red Snapper with Orange Maple Mustard and Almondy Green Beans.  Not too shabby for Good Friday.  Or a bad Friday.  Or just about any old Friday.

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