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Mediterranean Salt Crusted Whole Fish

Chef Emeril Lagasse is always thinking about new ingredients, produce, meats and foods and how he can put them together in new ways.  Watch as chef takes a cornucopia of fresh ingredients and makes dishes that will give you inspiration, guidance, technique and style to create plates of perfection for you and your family.  Ground chicken lettuce wraps with flavors of ginger and sriracha?  Yes!  Red wine marinated escargot with herb compound butter?  Believe it!  Seared mint lamb chops with a organic tomato Greek salad?  Uh huh! A Mediterranean salt crusted whole fish with orange zest and rosemary? Of course!  It’s Emeril Lagasse and it’s all Fresh Food Fast!

Prep time: 20 minutes Inactive Prep: 2 minutes Cook: 25 minutes Total: 47 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 (3-pound) box kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves, stripped from the stem, stems reserved
  • 2 navel oranges (zest of both, one juiced, one sliced)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (2 to 3-pound) whole fish (recommended: red snapper or redfish), cleaned and scaled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine the kosher salt, parsley, rosemary, orange zest, orange juice, and black pepper in a large mixing bowl. Mix well. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay the rosemary stems then the orange slices. Place the fish on the orange slices and coat with the olive oil. Mound the salt mixture evenly on the surface of the fish, leaving the head and tail uncovered. With your fingers, firmly press the mixture into the flesh. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven and cool for 2 minutes. With the back of a heavy spoon or a mallet, lightly pound the salt crust to crack it open, beginning at the tail end. Carefully pull off the salt crust.
  4. To serve, use a small spatula or wide knife, remove the flesh from the bone from the topside of the fish. Remove the backbone, and then serve the flesh from the bottom side of the fish.