Herbed Stuffed Red Snapper all' italiana



Ingredients:
2 whole 3-4  pound Fresh whole Snapper.  Cleaned and di-scaled.
2 large lemons  (One sliced for cooking, one cut in half)
2 teaspoons of salt.
Pepper to taste

For the stuffing:
One cup of bread crumbs (I like to make my own)
several sprigs of parsley
2 cloves of garlic  diced
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup of pitted black olives
Extra parsley for garnish

Method:
In a food processor, process your bread crumbs, garlic, parsley and olives adding your olive oil a little at a time.  Stuffing should hold together nicely.  Add a pinch of salt and pepper to tast. 
Preheat your oven to 375.

Make tiny slits all over your fish with a paring knife.  Squeeze lemon juice all over your fish and pat dry with paper towels.  Lay on a baking sheet and gently insert your stuffing into the center of fish using about 1/2 for each.  Pack it in.  Do not worry that it comes out of your fish a little.  Add several sprigs of parsley over your fish along with lemon slices. 
Add additional salt over your fish.   Place in a preheated, 375 degree oven for 45 minutes.  Add 1/2 cup of white wine to your fish, and cook 15 minutes more.   Your fish should be crispy  on the outside. and ready to be removed from the oven.  Stick your fork in your fish and flake away some meat.  If the fish  flakes away from the fork it's done.  (You must allow ample time since the fish is stuffed).  Remove from the oven and let cool at least 10 minutes before serving. 
 Remove the bones from your fish by cutting the head off, opening up your fish to reveal the rest of the stuffing.  Remove the bones gently, and slowly spoon your pieces of fish fillet onto a plate with a little stuffing on the side.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve!
Buon Appetito!
Special Note:  If you are making one whole fish, the cooking time is the same.  You can cut your stuffing recipe to 1/2 cup bread crumbs and follow the same methods.   You can use this stuffng for any whole Fish you like.  Be sure and leave the head on.  You will have to adjust your cooking time by the size of your fish.  The meatier the fish, the longer the cooking time.  Be careful not to overcook.  
 Cooking fish with the Head intact maximizes flavor.   Look for a fresh fish by the clarity of the fish eyes.  

Comments

I have never cooked a whole fish, and yet we eat fish all the time. This is really inspiring me to give it a go. I love your simple stuffing, it would really let the flavor of the fish shine through!
Give it a try Sue! You wil be surprised. The key is not to be stressed by the time invited when cleaning a fish. Do not worry if pieces fall apart, it's all part if the charm when dealing with a whole fish. Squeeze some lemon over it to before serving! The thicker the fish , the better the chance of your fish holding together.

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