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Check the fish for any pin bones then season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Mix the flour, curry powder, and cayenne together. Sprinkle over both sides of the fish.
Heat the oil and butter together in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the fish and cook until cooked through, about 2 - 3 minutes per side. Do not overcook the fish. Serve the fish with the salsa.
You want quick? You want easy? You want delicious? Then this is a recipe for you.
So simple, flexible, and on the table in short order.
Let’s start with the fish.
While this recipe is called Curry Snapper it doesn’t have to be made with snapper. Although most of the times I make it snapper is readily available, it’s not always available. So what to do? Get another fish that is close to snapper. You could use (as I did this time) Icelantic cod. Or ocean perch, blackfish, flounder, sole, haddock, orange roughy, or even tilapia (although I’m not a big fan of tilapia it is available almost everywhere these days). If you live in Florida, grouper would also make a good choice.
Whichever fish you use, remove any skin and of course, all small bones. I remove fish bones with a specialized fish bone tweezer that resembles needle nose pliers, but there are many to choose from. Choose the one you feel comfortable with. In a pinch, you can use needle nose pliers – just make sure that the ones you use are dedicated to taking out fish bones. You don’t want to use the ones you used to fix that electrical wiring job.
One of the reasons this recipe is so simple is the coating on the fish consists of flour, curry powder, and a bit of cayenne. That’s it. Mix those together and, after you season the fish with some salt and freshly ground pepper, sprinkle your flour mixer over both sides of the fish. The easiest way to get a nice coating on the fish is to put the flour into a small sieve and shake it over. No muss, no fuss.
Heat the oil and butter together in a frying pan, and panfry for about 2 minutes per side.
The fish is done when it is browned and just starting to flake. Do not overcook the fish. I find that most people think they don’t like fish only because they overcook it. If you can easily insert a thin-bladed knife into the flesh, the fish is cooked.
Peeling the mango for the salsa is probably the most difficult part of the dish. Well, actually cutting it since they have that weird elongated pit in the middle. There are a number of ways to do it including using a glass. I peel it with a paring knife, then cut in half from top to bottom avoiding the pit, then slice and dice it.
It’s not all that hard.
Harder still might be finding a ripe one.
While I think a mango, grown in Hawaii, and eaten in Hawaii is the best mango ever, they are available year-round thanks to the six varieties that have staggered growing seasons in Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Guatemala, and Haiti. To check for ripeness, focus on FEEL, not color because every variety is a different color when ripe. For example, red doesn’t necessarily mean ripe. Squeeze gently to judge ripeness. A ripe mango will give slightly, indicating soft flesh inside. Ripe mangos will sometimes have a fruity aroma at their stem ends. So use your experience with peaches and avocados when choosing your mango.
Once you have your mango peeled and diced, add the diced red pepper, red onion, jalapeno or Serrano pepper, cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice, a pinch of salt, and mix it up. Taste and adjust for sweetness. You may need to add a pinch of sugar if your mango was not really sweet.
It’s now ready to serve.
Use the pre-sliced mango pieces found in most supermarkets. You pay more, but the convenience might be worth it.
Buy pre-made mango salsa, found often, but not always, in the refrigerated section of your supermarket.
Can’t find mangos?
Use papaya. But not the huge Mexican papaya, or the green Asian papaya. Just regular papaya.
Choose papaya the same way you choose mangos, look for a soft, but not mushy, fruit that gives slightly when pressed. Peel, seed, and dice.
If you don’t like any of the ingredients in the salsa, don’t put them in. Well, except for the mango (or papaya) which is kind of key, you can tweak the other ingredients to your taste and preferences.
That’s what’s so great about cooking it yourself, cooking it how YOU like it.
Put it together and what have you got? A delicious dinner in about 15 minutes. Now that’s fast food!
I served this dish with a simple stir-fry mix of cooked brown rice and corn. Just saute the corn and rice together in a little butter, season with salt, and add some chopped cilantro if desired, I desired.
To drink – we had a tasty Viognier. The tropical fruits in the wine complimented the fruit salsa and curry fish.
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