Luv me some summer! This delightful Stuffed Snapper was done on the propane grill in the glorious sunshine outside, but you can always use your everyday indoor oven with just as good results. For an even better outcome, rock it on a charcoal grill. Basically any fish will work, I just happen to only like ocean fish and Yellowtail snapper was on sale (excellent quality too).
1 Yellowtail Snapper (just over 1 lb)
2 scallions (divided)
1 tablespoon butter
2 lbs Pumpkin (diced / sliced)
1 medium onion (diced)
8-10 sprigs thyme (divided -leaves only)
1-2 lemons (divided)
1/2 cup olive oil
5 cloves garlic (crushed)
bell peppers (see notes below)
1 tablespoon raw brown sugar (any brown sugar will work)
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 scotch bonnet pepper (divided – chopped finely)
1 tablespoon Caribbean Green Seasoning
1/2 cup white wine (your fav)
1 teaspoon grainy mustard
1 teaspoon salt (divided)
2 clementines (juice)
1 teaspoon black pepper (divided)
Notes! I had remaining bell peppers from a previous recipe in the fridge, so I used what I had. Basically you can add as much as you like. If you don’t have clementines, you may use 1/4 cup of orange juice. Peel and dice a 1/3 of the pumpkin, the remaining you can slice thick with the skin on. Be sure to watch the video below as I share some tips on buying fish. You’ll notice that I didn’t salt the fish itself, but I did use salt in the stuffing and marinade.
Let’s start with the pumpkin stuffing so it will cool as we prep the fish in a few minutes. In a saucepan add the butter on med/low heat. Then add 1/2 onion, 1/2 the thyme, 1/2 the scotch bonnet pepper (optional), 1/2 the garlic, 1/4 of the scallions, ginger and 1/2 of the salt. Cook on a low for 3-4 minutes.
It’s now time to add the diced pumpkin, followed by 1/2 of the black pepper. Stir well, then add the white wine and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes with the lid on.
Remove the lid, turn up the heat to medium and burn off any liquid. It will take 3-5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
I washed the cleaned Snapper with the juice of one lemon and cool water and I double-checked to make sure the fish monger got all the scales. Drain and pat dry.
For the marinade / dressing, we’ll combine the olive oil with the remaining black pepper, salt, scallions, thyme leaves and garlic, followed by the Caribbean Green Seasoning, scotch bonnet pepper, mustard and clementine juice. Whisk to combine.
I created a bed with some of the pumpkin slices to sit the snapper on and added the remaining pumpkin and bell peppers around it. You may hit the snapper with additional salt and black pepper, but I’m trying my best to cut back on my sodium intake. Drizzle on the dressing over everything, including the underside of the fish. you’ll notice that I gave the fish a few cuts to help it cook evenly and for the marinade to penetrate it a bit.
Now stuff the cavity of the fish (belly) with that wicked pumpkin stuffing we made earlier. What cannot fit can sit on the outside of the fish.
Have your grill between 375 – 400 F, then place the pan in the middle to roast uncovered.
If using an indoor oven, I’d go at 375 F on the middle rack. During the cook time I did spoon the oil at the bottom and drizzled the fish and vegetables with it. This helps to get a lovely golden color.
Depending on the size of the fish you use, it will take between 25-35 minutes to cook. Basically you want the pieces of pumpkin to be soft (use a pairing knife) and the fish itself to be firm and flaky.
I did add some leaves of parsley the last 5 minutes of cooking (from my garden) and once the pan was out of the grill, I squeezed on some fresh lemon juice over everything.
Another summertime hit IMHO!