Truly treat yourself and dinner guests with a masterful meal that offers the best in Louisiana seafood by preparing a meticulously-flavorful “Cracklin” Crusted Red Snapper alongside pickled crawfish tails, buttermilk chili consommé:, spring vegetables, burnt leek oil, fermented cream, and bowfin caviar. Though this page only details the precise cooking of the Snapper and Chili Consommé, explore the full-course recipe from Louisiana Seafood along with Chef Ryan Trahan’s expert cooking instruction.
“Cracklin” Crusted Red Snapper
- A trimmed, 1.5 lb scale-on red snapper (portioned to six 4 oz. pieces)
- 4 oz. of clarified butter
- Place the filets scale-side down in a hotel or baking pan while adding just enough water to cover the skin and submerge the scales in about 1/4th of an inch of water. Refrigerate this and let it soak for a minimum of 20 minutes and no longer than an hour.
- After preparing side dishes when its nearing the time to serve, let the snapper stand at room temperature out of the refrigerator for 20 minutes and preheat the oven to 350 degrees as you temper the fish.
- In a 12-inch saucepan, heat enough clarified butter to coat the entire bottom of the pan (approx. ⅛ inches deep), and just before the oil hits its smoking point, remove the snapper from the water and place it directly into your pan with the scale-side facing down. Press the top of the fish with a fish spatula, keeping it flat to the pan and not allowing it to seize up and curl.
- Cook the fish (scale-side down) for 2 minutes in the pan, then flip the filets and place it in the oven to cook through until its center is 130 degrees in the center (approximately 8-10 minus). When ready, the fish should have crispy scales on top as it cooks to a moist and flaky finish.
- You can then serve immediately or keep it warm for a maximum of 5 minutes until you’re ready to plate. Be sure to plate the fish soon, because if held too long, the finished product will dry out.
Buttermilk Chili Consommé
- ½ gallon of buttermilk
- 4 dried ancho chiles
- 6 dried guajillo chiles
- 2 dried pasilla chiles
- 8 oz. red onion, diced
- 3 fresh bay leaves
- 1 tbsp. of salt
- 8 sheets of gelatin, bloomed
- Heat your fryer to 350 degrees, and when the oil is temperature-ready, fry your dried chiles under the oil for about two minutes or until they puff and toast all the way around. Then, remove the chiles, rinse, clean, and place them in a bowl. Add just enough water to cover and submerge the chiles, soaking them for 10 minutes before you take them out to remove seeds and stems.
- In a 1 gallon saucepan, add buttermilk, cleaned chiles, bay leaf, garlic, and salt, bringing it all to a simmer. After about 5 minutes when curds begin to form, turn off the head and cover the pan, allowing it to steep for 30 minutes. Then, blend the pan’s contents on high for 30 seconds and strain the buttermilk through a fine, mesh sleeve into a bowl.
- Melt bloomed gelatin in a small sauté pan over low heat until it’s simply melted, not cooked. Then, whisk the melted gelatin into the strained buttermilk, placing the mixture into the freezer until it’s completely frozen through (can take 2-4 hours).
- Once frozen, remove the mixture and place it in the colander lined with cheesecloth that has a basin underneath to catch the thawing buttermilk, and place it in a warm environment. Afterward, the consommé should be clear of all particles, and you can place it in the refrigerator and reserve for future use. When ready to serve, hold consommé at room temperature for about 20 minutes, letting it temper before surviving.
Pair the above recipes with Chef Ryan Trahan’s other dishes and truly bask in excellent southern cuisine.
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