GULF COAST SNAPPER (FUSION)
Faced with a couple of nice fresh red snapper fillets and a lot of assorted leftovers to use up, I came up with a light dinner that I like to call "Gulf Coast cuisine" -- a little bit of Yucatan, a little bit of Cajun, a little bit of Key West ...
Take two fresh red snapper fillets, total about 1 pound, and place them skin down in an ovenproof baking dish. About an hour before cooking, squirt on the juice of one lime and just a drop of olive oil, rub it in, and dust with salt, black pepper and a light shaking of red New Mexico chile powder to taste. Set aside.
Thoroughly clean two average-size leeks, discard the tough green leaves, and whack the rest into rough dice. Smash two large garlic cloves and slice off two "coins" of fresh ginger. Have ready about 1/2 to 2/3 cup of chopped mild green chiles (I used Bueno brand frozen, but canned or fresh would be fine).
Start by heating a little olive oil over high heat in a nonstick sautee pan, then throw in the garlic cloves and ginger coins and toss until they're aromatic. Add the chopped leeks and stir until they start to cook. Add the green chiles, stir, and add a small amount of water if necessary to keep the vegetables from sticking. Turn down the heat very low, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes until the leeks are very soft. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste if needed.
Spoon about half of this mix over the fish fillets, spreading it out evenly, and reserve the rest. Place the fillets and vegetable topping in a preheated 450F oven for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, boil enough linguine for two small servings in ample salted water. When it's done (try to time this just a minute or so before the fish are done), drain and place in warmed pasta bowls. Add a heaping tablespoon of ricotta and a teaspoon of grated Parmigiana Reggiano to each serving, then top with the remaining leek-and-chile mix.
This is really a meal in itself, but I threw a bit of steamed broccoli in on the side just to have something GREEN. A light salad would do the trick, too.
It went very well indeed with a Rhone Viognier, but it would be a forgiving match with just about any dry white wine, crisp lager or pale ale.