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Whole baby snapper and asparagus with beurre blanc
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- 3 bunches asparagus
- Vegetable oil, such as rice bran oil, for drizzling
- Sea salt, to taste
- Cracked black pepper
- 4 baby snapper (400g each)
- 1 lemon, cut into 8 slices
- 1 cup dry white wine such as sauvignon blanc
- 1 eschalot (French shallot), peeled and quartered
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill, stalks kept aside
- 100g cold butter, cubed
- Salt flakes, to taste
- Cracked black pepper, to taste
- Mixing bowl
- Sharp knife
- Large metal spatula
- Medium saucepan
1. Preheat barbecue to medium-high. Trim asparagus, place in bowl, drizzle with oil, add salt and pepper and toss to coat.
2. Cook fish Cut 2 deep slashes in both sides of each fish, starting close to head. Fill each fish cavity with lemon. Rub skin with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cook on barbecue for 8 mins, then turn and cook for 7 mins until just cooked through. Set aside.
3. Make beurre blanc Place wine, eschalot and dill stalks in saucepan on hottest part of barbecue. Bring to boil and bubble rapidly for 6 to 8 mins or until reduced by half to two-thirds. Discard eschalot and dill stalks. Add butter 2 cubes at a time, whisking constantly, adding more cubes when they have melted. Add chopped dill, plus salt and pepper.
4. Cook asparagus & assemble Meanwhile, place asparagus on barbecue. Cook for 4 to 6 mins, turning occasionally, until just tender. Divide among serving plates. Place fish on top and pour over sauce.
Cooking tip To test when the fish is cooked, make a small cut in the thickest part just behind the head. It should be pearly white, but still juicy. Cook for 1 min intervals until cooked.
This dish is easy to prepare, with a simple beurre blanc - a rich, hot butter sauce that brings out the flavour of the succulent fish.