Grilled Red Snapper Recipe with a Cajun Cream Sauce
Recently I spent some time fishing out in the Gulf of Mexico and was lucky enough to bring back a cooler full of fresh Red Snapper. Snapper is a great fish for grilling and for this recipe I’m using a Weber Kettle Grill and a Charcoal Vortex to create one spectacular dish. If you don’t have red snapper, you can substitute just about any white fish with this technique.
For this grilled red snapper recipe, I’m using the Vortex to create an indirect cooking zone in my Weber grill. The Vortex is basically a thin metal cone (wider at the bottom than the top) and you fill it with charcoal briquettes. The heat is forced up the top of the vortex into the dome of the grill and it creates an indirect high heat grilling area out to the sides of the cooking grate. It’s especially good for grilling crispy chicken wings but it also works great for quick cooks like fish. (if you don’t have a weber and/or vortex don’t worry you can use just about an grill set up for indirect, two-zone grilling)
When grilling Red Snapper I like to leave the skin on each filet, we call it “on the half shell” in the south and it makes grilling very easy. The skin prevents the flesh from sticking to the grate and when its cooked properly the meat separates easily from the skin.
Once the grill is fired up, season each filet with your favorite cajun style seasoning. (I’m using my a new rub I’m working on called King Craw – it’s my take on cajun flavors).
Also while the Royal Oak briquettes are coming up to temp go ahead and make the Cajun Cream sauce. The recipe is below and sets this dish off!
When the vortex is hot (coals glowing bright red) close the lid on the grill and make sure all the vents are completely open for air flow. It won’t take long for the grill to heat at this point.
Place each snapper filet out towards to the edge of the cooking grate away from the vortex. For added smoke flavor I place a chunk of cherry smokerwood.com directly over the vortex. It will begin to smolder and give off a light smoke. These filets will cook fast, it only takes about 10-12 minutes so don’t go to far at this point.
While the snapper is cooking, I also seasoned a bunch of fresh Asparagus with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of Kosher Salt. It goes on a separate grill or in the oven for 8 minutes on 425. Asparagus makes a great base for serving the snapper but you can substitute your favorite vegetable or even steamed rice.
Also 1-2 minutes before the filets are done, toss 8oz of lump crab meat in a melted butter to warm. This is optional, but trust me here, you don’t want to miss out on this combination.
To serve place a foundation of the asparagus on a plate, top with one of the Red Snapper filets and a pile of the warm, buttery, lump crab.
Top it all off with the Cajun Cream sauce and a lemon twist for garnish and dive in! This dish rivals anything you can order from a restaurant and it’s really quick and easy.
Heat butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add garlic and parsley and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Pour in white wine and reduce for 3-4 minutes. Add heavy cream and Cajun seasoning. Whisk to combine and reduce for 8-10 minutes stirring often until sauce thickens slightly. Add lemon zest, juice from lemon wedge, and Parmesan. Remove from heat and rest until ready to serve over fish.
Set up Weber grill with a charcoal Vortex for indirect cooking at high temp (any grill can be used with indirect cooking method but cooking times may vary). Open the top and bottom vents 100% for air flow.
Drizzle olive oil over the skin side of each filet to prevent the fish from sticking during cooking. Lightly drizzle the flesh side of each filet and coat with cajun seasoning.
While the grill is coming up to temp, prepare the cajun cream sauce.
Place each filet on the outer edges of the cooking grate away from the vortex. Cook approximately 10-12 minutes or until the filets easily flake.
During the last few minutes of grilling melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small sauté pan. Place the lump crab into the pan and warm for 1-2 minutes tossing gently in the butter.
Carefully remove each snapper filet form the grill and transfer to a platter.
To serve: top each filet with lump crab meat and drizzle with warm cajun cream sauce garnished with a lemon slice. This dish is great served over grilled Asparagus or steamed rice.