2 fresh redfish, 3-4 lb., scaled and gutted
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
3 Tbsp. butter
2 cups onions, finely diced
½ cup celery, finely diced
¼ cup bell pepper, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small can tomato paste
2 cups tomato sauce
1 cup concentrated fish stock
2 cups Blanc-de-Blanc wine
2 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
¼ cup minced parsley
1 Tbsp. creole mustard
3 bay leaves
2 lemons, sliced
2 tsp. seafood seasoning
First, wash the redfish thoroughly and pat them dry with paper towels.
I suggest you check to make sure you remove all traces of blood from along the backbone because it turns and cooked fish bitter.
Now place them into a large baking pan and set them aside for a while.
Meanwhile, take a 12-inch skillet or 3-quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat, and sauté your onions, celery, and bell pepper until they wilt.
When they have softened, drop in the garlic and stir it into the mixture well—but don’t let it burn!
Next, add the tomato paste and the tomato sauce and, still over medium-high heat, blend everything together well.
For best results, you should plan to cook the tomato mixture—stirring constantly—for about five minutes.
At this point, pour in the fish stock and the white wine and stir the ingredients together until the sauce is smooth.
Then add all the remaining ingredients—the worcestershire, parsley, creole mustard, bay leaves, lemons, and seafood seasoning—and stir thoroughly once more.
Then reduce the fire to low, cover the pot, and gently simmer the mixture for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While the sauce is cooking, preheat your grill to “hot.”
Then when the sauce is ready, ladle it uniformly over the fish, cover the pan tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil, and bake the fish for about an hour.
I suggest you should check the pan after about 50 minutes just so you don’t overcook the fish. When the meat flakes off the backbone easily…it’s done.
I recommend you serve Creole Baked Redfish with steamed, buttered rice and a crisp lettuce and tomato salad topped with Thousand Island dressing.
For an extra lemony taste, you can place several thin slices of lemon on top of the fish as garnish during the last 10 minutes of the baking process. It also adds flair to sprinkle on some additional minced parsley when serving the redfish.
Blanc-de-Blanc wine is a dry white bordeaux and gives the sauce a rather tangy flavor. If you want to substitute another white wine for the Blanc-de-Blanc, go ahead. The difference in taste is too subtle to matter.
Concentrated fish stock is made by gently boiling the scraps and bones of fish in 2 quarts of water (along with 1 small carrot, 1 small onion, 2 ribs of celery, and ½ lemon) for several hours, then straining the liquid and reducing it over medium heat to one half of it’s original volume.