Our Delicious Red Snapper Amandine (or almondine) is a fish dish with a fabulous sauce made with butter and almonds. You may be familiar with the classic French dish Trout Amandine. But Red Snapper is one of our favorite fish due to its moist and firm texture. It is definitely different from trout, but works at least as well in this dish. The slightly sweet and nutty flavors make it the perfect fish for a variety of seasonings and sauces, but especially with the butter and almond sauce with a kiss of lemon in this Red Snapper Amandine recipe.
Even better, Red Snapper is found primarily in the Gulf of Mexico, so living in Houston we can find fresh Red Snapper, often caught that morning. But don't worry if you live somewhere else, as Red Snapper is fairly easy to find in stores. Because of its overall mild taste, this popular white fish is a common menu item.
Tips for Making Red Snapper Amandine
Although this dish has a fancy name (also see 'almondine'), it is actually very easy to make. This fish recipe takes less than 20 minutes and you have a beautifully presented dish on the table. Additionally, you do not need any special ingredients. Here's what you need: Red Snapper, butter, lemon, sliced almonds, salt and pepper. Here are some tips for making this dish incredible.
Searing the Fish
The Red Snapper in this dish is pan seared with skin on. Cooking it this way results in a nice crispy skin for added texture and flavor.
The trick to crispy skin isn’t really a trick at all. It’s just basic science.
The pan should be hot, the fish skin should be dry (and I mean as dry as you can get it), and the fat you put in your pan should have a decently high smoke point. So, that means, cast iron or carbon steel (stainless and nonstick pans work, but not quite as well).
To achieve this, you want to dry the fish with paper towels first. Then you want to scrape the skin with a knife to squeegee as much moisture out of the skin as you can. If you have an extra 15 to 45 minutes or so to let the fish sit and dry out in the refrigerator, please do this!
And finally, you shouldn’t use whole butter for the searing portion to get that crispy skin. But have no fear, we use clarified butter here instead! And it’s perfect for searing because it can take high heat without the milk solids burning. Plus, whole butter makes a triumphant return in the final sauce that turns this into an absolute bomb of an entrée.
We've included instructions HERE if you want to make clarified butter at home for this dish. But you can use whole butter to pan fry the fish if you really want to. Although your resulting sauce will have more browned milk solids than the one pictured here.
The key to this Red Snapper Amandine is the Butter Sauce
The butter sauce is definitely a major factor in Red Snapper Amandine, and the star of the sauce is the butter here. This most magical of ingredients can create and transform sauces like no other component. We love a two-step method in making our amandine dish, by first searing in clarified butter, then adding the whole butter back in at the end to complete the sauce.
Since we do this entire dish in one cast iron skillet, we have a little residual seasoning from the fish, a little leftover clarified butter and now whole butter. We melt it, add almonds and lemon juice and season with just a bit of kosher salt if needed.
The goal here is to end up with a nutty lightly browned butter sauce with a tinge of lemon and some crunchy, buttery almonds. Just drizzle the sauce over your seared fish and enjoy!
It's all about the Butter
If you have been a reader for a while, or if you follow our cooking stories on Instagram, then you are well aware that we are big proponents of all things made with butter. From Beurre Blancs to Rum Butter Sauces for cakes, the options are endless! And the quality of the butter you use can truly make a dish special.
Our go-to butter is Plugrá, which is a European-style butter created with the perfect amount of moisture and fat for the creamiest consistency! The quality and flavor does not compare to anything else on the market, and truly makes every dish better!
What to Serve with Red Snapper Amandine
We typically like to serve Red Snapper Amandine with fresh blanched green beans and a combination of red and yellow bell peppers that have been lightly blistered. The sauce goes perfectly with this combination of vegetables and makes for a bright and vibrant presentation. We also like to sprinkle in some potato gnocchi. Gnocchi are always a winner with just a brown butter sauce, so they are delightful when added as a side here too.
Feel free to experiment, but a variety of fresh summer vegetables are lovely with this Red Snapper Amandine and you really can't go wrong!
We hope you enjoy this recipe for Red Snapper Amandine! If you give it a try, leave us a comment below or tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine.
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