With this recipe, I will pop down the portions per person, then you can simply multiply as needed. I hate dividing recipes up (e.g. enough for 4 people and you have 3 people) and I think you should be running on gut and feel when cooking (not baking, that’s a different story) so just roll with whatever feels right.
1 fillet of SNAPPER with it’s skin on
A handful of mixed MUSHROOMS – you need earthy flavours for this to work it’s best, I used Pine and King Brown here, they’re hard to find (try your local Growers Markets) and cost a small fortune, but they’re insanely delicious and rich, you don’t need much to go a long way
A teaspoon of CREME FRAICHE (my favourite is Pepe Saya)
A few drops of BLACK TRUFFLE OIL (you could definitely omit this)
A few cloves of thinly sliced GARLIC
A few CHIVES chopped finely
SEA SALT and PEPPER
A little FLOUR to dust the skin of the SNAPPER
And add to a bubbling pan of butter and olive oil, then throw in your thickly sliced mushrooms and sautee for about 4-5 minutes, they want to be soft and have some colour. Take off the heat and add the creme fraiche and chopped chives and truffle oil, salt and pepper and stir. I do this in a bowl that I have warmed with boiling water then drained and dried to keep them warm.
Then wipe down your pan, add a little more butter and olive oil and heat. While this is melting and heating, dust the skin of the snapper fillet with flour, then place face down in the fry pan. Place a piece of grease proof or bake paper over the fillet and then a saucepan (for weight and to keep the fish skin flat to the pan to crisp up) and leave for 4-5 mins. Then flip and cook for a few more minutes on the other side.
Serve the pan grilled snapper with the mushrooms spooned onto a plate, alongside a lemon cheek.
The mushrooms really are the hero of this meal. Find earthy flavoured mushrooms for this dish – button mushrooms are not going to cut it!
Snapper (and all fish) will continue to cook once it is removed from heat, so always cook it medium rare and then eat from the outside of the fish fillet inwards. If you slice straight into the thickest part it won’t cook properly.
You could definitely make this a ‘healthier’ version, and use coconut oil and omit all the butter. But honestly, it needs the earthy richness of the butter mingling with mushrooms to make this as tasty as it is.
When dusting the snapper with flour – pretty much any flour works, just don’t go wholemeal or it becomes like thick crumbs – not what we want here!
The black truffle oil is hard to find, so if you don’t have it don’t sweat it.