29 May 2010

Red Snapper with Citrus Sauce

Spring in Wisconsin began in March this year, and the lilacs and flowering crab have already come and gone. The bridal wreath, which usually graces our lawn and the park across the street on the anniversary of D-Day, is falling petal by petal like so many white crosses on the green meadows of Normandy.

We bravely and confidently put our flowers and herbs out in early May and fired up the Weber grill weeks ago.

It took years, but I have come to understand the mystique of the grill (how do men figure this out first?). It's fire, primordial and even magical, a whiff of pungent aroma from applewood chips tossed on the coals.

It took three trips to the fish market this morning to buy red snapper. My husband tried on his 7 a.m. bagel run and I tried again at 8:45 a.m. on my way to the first outdoor farm market of the season.

"The truck isn't here yet," said the bespectacled woman behind the counter (who really knows her customer service). "But I'm getting red snapper."

Finally at 10:30 I nabbed a pound of it, just enough for two.

Late in the afternoon, with a crispy and mineral-y bottle of Alsatian Riesling well underway, I washed and dried the fish and rubbed it with Cyprus salt flakes and pepper. While my husband prepped the grill, I baked potatoes, roasted red peppers, and prepared the sauce: One tablespoon honey mustard, three tablespoons of honey, three tablespoons lemon juice, one tablespoon lime juice and two chopped-up slices each of lime and tangerine. I tasted the sauce adding a bit more of this and a bit more of that.

I carmelised a small, sweet onion in a dash of olive oil and tossed in the sauce, reducing it and then glazing the grilled fish before serving. The recipe was inspired by this one.

Tender. Sweet. Even a little nutty. And tangy from the sauce. We'll do it again, unless red snapper becomes a casualty of this heinous tragedy in the gulf.

Because of our warm spring, my CSA box was full today, with lettuce, kale, radishes, rhubarb and all manner of herbs. I bought organic eggs, too, but passed on the whitefish. Maybe next time.