I do feel a little guilty when I lavishly present guests with a whole baked fish and they 'ooo and ahhh' over how fantastic it looks and how spoilt they feel - little do they know, it is one of the simplest ways to cook it. Don't tell anyone, it's our little secret.
Using the barbecue to bake the snapper enhances the flavour of that sweet, juicy flesh and I just love slipping outside with a glass of crisp white wine and cooking over the barbecue as the warmer weather starts to roll in. For something a little special try a Moroccan spice rub, it is aromatic and packed full of flavour and can be used on steaks, chicken... and just about anything you can think of.
Related: Alana's stylish cup day menu
Prep time: 10-15 mins
Cooking time: 20-30 mins
Moroccan spice mix
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground sweet paprika
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
4 tbsp olive oil
1.2-1.5kg whole Snapper, gutted and gilled
1 lemon cut into wedges
1/2 cup coriander leaves, firmly packed
1/2 cup mint leaves, firmly packed
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
200 grm sweet potato, roughly chopped, boiled til soft and cooled
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup good quality or homemade mayonnaise
2-3 tbsp lemon juice (if needed)
1/2 cup coriander
1/2 cup mint
Salt and pepper
Extra chopped coriander, mint and a lemon wedge to serve
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Preheat a hooded barbecue to 180°C.
For the Moroccan spice mix, combine all the spices in a medium bowl, drizzle in two tablespoons of olive oil and stir to combine. Set aside.
To prepare the fish, rinse the cavity and pat dry with paper towel.
Lay a large piece of baking paper (big enough to envelop the fish) into a baking tray. To help cook the fish evenly, make deep slashes on the thickest part of the fish just behind the fins on both sides of the fish. Stuff the cavity of the fish with the lemon wedges and half the herbs. Rub the spice mix all over the outside of the fish, particularly rubbing it into the slashes and sprinkle with cracked pepper. Wrap the fish in the baking paper.
Place the baking tray with the fish into the middle of the barbecue, and with the hood down bake for approximately 20-30 mins or until the fish appears cooked. You can check if it is cooked through by just opening the paper a little and peering in between the slashes - if it is white (not opaque) it is ready.
For the sweet potato salad, thin out the mayonnaise with a little lemon juice if it is too thick. Combine the mayonnaise with all the remaining ingredients and stir lightly.
To serve, place the whole fish gently onto a serving platter and scatter with extra fresh herbs along with fresh lemon wedges and serve with the sweet potato salad.
If you fall in love with this Moroccan spice mix, just like I have, head to my website and try my crispy Moroccan salmon with cucumber, tomato and pistachio recipe.
Related: Alana's Turkish delight chocolate cake