CARIBBEAN BAKED WHOLE RED SNAPPER WITH RED CURRY SAUCE (for four as a main course, for eight as part of a buffet)
a 4-1/2 pound red snapper or 2 smaller fish, gutted and scaled with head and tail left on
For the curry sauce:
2 onions, chopped fine
¼ cup vegetable oil
a 1 inch cube of peeled fresh gingerroot, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped fine
1 red bell pepper, chopped fine
3 tablespoons curry powder
¼ cup all-purpose flour
3 cups low-salt chicken broth
a 28 ounce can plum tomatoes drained well and chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
fresh coriander sprigs for garnish
1. Pre-heat the oven to 400* and lightly oil a large, shallow, oven-to-table baking dish. Rinse the fish under cold tap water, inside and out, pat it dry with paper towels and place it in the dish.
2. In a large, heavy saucepan cook the onions in the oil over moderate heat, stirring, until they are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the gingerroot and garlic and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the bell peppers and cook, stirring until the peppers are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the curry powder and flour and cook the mixture over moderately low heat, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the broth, bring the mixture to a boil, whisking, and stir in the tomatoes. Simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes and stir in the lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. (The sauce may be made 3 days in advance and kept, covered and chilled. Reheat the sauce before continuing with the recipe).
3. Ladle about 2 cups of curry sauce over the fish, keeping the remaining sauce covered and warm, and cover the baking dish tightly with oiled aluminum foil. Bake the snapper in the middle of the oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until the fish just flakes.
4. Garnish with coriander sprigs and serve with additional curry sauce on the side.
NOTE: For an 8 pound snapper, double the amount of sauce and bake the fish for 1-1/2 hours.
adapted from The Best of Gourmet, 1994