Chef Marcus Samuelsson Shares Recipe For His Favorite Summer Fish Dish

The acclaimed chef reveals how to make a seared red snapper that will totally elevate your next dinner party.
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Baha Mar, the sprawling beachfront Bahamas resort, has long been cultivating an impressive culinary roster of celebrity chef-driven eateries, most notably French restauranteur Daniel Bouloud’s Café Boulud and Tuscan butcher Dario Cecchini’s Carna steakhouse.

The sun-kissed property's latest buzzy launch comes courtesy of six-time James Beard Award-winning culinarian Marcus Samuelsson, who has followed up his Streetbird on the Beach food truck with a full-fledged restaurant, Marcus at Baha Mar Fish + Chop House, overlooking Baha Mar's white sand beaches, turquoise ocean waters and signature wooden pier.

Samuelsson—the renowned chef known for Red Rooster in Harlem and Miami, Norda in Sweden, and NYC Scandinavian hot spot Aquavit—launched his new restaurant with a focus on locally and sustainably-caught seafood and premium dry-aged cuts, alongside favorites like rock shrimp and grits, fried "yardbird" with creamed kale and sweet potato mash, jerk-roasted cauliflower and scrumptious cornbread served with Bahamian rum-infused butter.

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But even if you can’t make it to Baha Mar to dine at his new restaurant, Samuelsson is serving up a supremely tasty recipe for Red Snapper with Smoked Tomato and Fennel Broth—based on his Grilled Red Snapper entree—for adventurous home cooks who want to recreate one of his seafood dishes at home.

“This dish is one of my favorite summertime meals," Samuelsson tells Maxim.com. 

"It’s full of fresh, seasonal produce like local, heirloom tomatoes and fragrant fennel. Searing fish quickly in a super hot pan is one of my favorite ways to cook fish since it ensures you get that perfectly crisp skin and tender flesh every single time. 

"Also, this recipe is supremely versatile and adaptable--if you can’t get your hands on snapper, feel free to swap in whatever fish looks best at your fishmonger that day.”

Red Snapper with Smoked Tomato and Fennel Broth

Serving Size: 4

Time To Prep: 1 hour

Time To Cook : 4 hours, plus overnight for broth

Technique Tip: Cook fish skin side down in a super hot pan to get that perfectly crisp skin.

Swap Option: Feel free to swap striped bass, salmon, rainbow trout or even shrimp for the snapper here.

Ingredients:

4, 4 oz red snapper fillets

Salt and pepper

Vegetable oil

2 grapefruit, cut into supremes

1 head of fennel, shaved

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp chives, chopped

1 tsp fennel pollen

For fennel broth:

4 oz dried shiitake mushrooms

1 lb chopped fennel

2 tsp sambal

1 bunch scallion, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled

1 inch piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

4 pc kombu

1 tbsp miso

1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce

1 liter water

For smoked tomato:

1 lb heirloom tomato

1 small red onion, diced

1/2 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for grilling

Salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:

For cooking the fish and plating:

  • Pre-heat a large skillet over high heat. Season the snapper fillets with salt and pepper.
  • Once hot the pan is hot, add a touch of vegetable oil. Once it begins to slightly smoke, carefully place the fillets in the pan skin side down, pressing immediately with a fish spatula. Cook for 2-3 minutes on the first side then flip. Let cook for an additional 45 seconds - 1 minute and remove, transferring to a plate.
  • In a small bowl, toss the grapefruit, fennel, olive oil, lemon juice, chives, fennel pollen and salt and pepper.
  • To plate, place a large spoonful of the smoked tomato mixture in the middle of a large shallow bowl. Gently rest a snapper fillet on the tomatoes, followed by a nice mound of the shaved fennel salad on top. Pour 4 ounces of the fennel broth in the dish right before serving.

For the fennel broth:

  • In a large pot, combine all the ingredients. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 4 hours.
  • Remove from heat and let sit overnight in the refrigerator. The next day, strain and reserve until serving.

For the smoked tomato:

  • Heat a grill or grill pan over high heat.
  • Rub the tomatoes liberally with olive oil. Place on the hot grill and cook, covered, until well charred. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Once cool enough to handle, chop the tomatoes and add to a bowl. Mix the tomatoes with the remaining ingredients, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.