Grilled Red Snapper Tacos with Chimichurri
Grilling a whole fish makes a stunning presentation—great for entertaining—but it’s also simple enough to serve as a weeknight dinner. Don’t make the chimichurri too far in advance, since it starts to lose its beautiful green color after a few hours.
- 1 cup (1 oz./30 g) loosely packed fresh cilantro, tough stems removed
- 1/2 cup (3/4 oz./20 g) loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, tough stems removed
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 small jalapeño chile, seeded and chopped
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) plus 3 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 whole red snappers, about 1 1/2 lb. (750 g) each, scaled and cleaned
- 1 lemon, cut into 6 to 8 slices
- 8 to 12 flour or corn tortillas, warmed
Prepare a hot fire in a grill.
To make the chimichurri, combine the cilantro, parsley, garlic, jalapeño, cumin and 1/2 tsp. salt in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, scraping down the sides with a spatula as needed. With the machine running, drizzle in the 1/2 cup olive oil in a slow, steady stream and process until well combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Brush both sides of the fish with the 3 Tbs. olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Stuff the belly of each fish with 3 or 4 lemon slices. If you have a fish basket, place your fish inside and then place on the grill. If you don’t have a fish basket, coat the grill grate generously with cooking spray and arrange the fish on the grate directly over the heat (use a large, flat spatula in one hand and an oven mitt in the other when flipping the fish). Cover and grill the fish for 10 minutes. Turn the fish, re-cover the grill and grill until the flesh of the fish is opaque throughout and flakes easily with a fork, about 10 minutes more.
To serve, transfer the fish to a platter and drizzle with a few tablespoons of the chimichurri. Using a fork, flake off pieces of the fish and fill the tortillas with fish, adding more chimichurri as desired. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Taco Night, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2014)