Redfish "on the Halfshell"
"Seafood is something that is best left alone," says Currence. "More than any other protein, it doesn't need help." Instead of focusing on the purity of the fish, rookies too often overwhelm it with flavors that mask the natural flavor. In the summer, Currence takes Louisiana redfish, a robust game fish with giant scales, pastes its skin with worchestershire, salt, and pepper – and not much else – and cooks it on a wood fire. He calls it redfish "on the halfshell," because when it cooks, the skin tightens and curls up around the flesh just a little, giving the appearance of the shape of an oyster shell. "It's an extremely rustic South Louisiana presentation and I like to serve it simply as such," says Currence. "When it gets overthought, it gets diminished."
Redfish "on the Halfshell" (serves 10)
- whole redfish (10 to 14 lbs); if unavailable, try grouper
- 1/2 lb melted butter
- 1 1/2 tbsp lemon zest
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 tbsp chopped parsley
- 5 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tbsp minced shallot
- 3/4 tbsp minced garlic clove
- 2 tbsp white wine
- 2 tsp Tabasco
- salt as needed
- freshly ground black pepper as needed
- non-stick spray or oil as needed
Start a wood fire under a metal grate, until embers are glowing and grate is very hot. Filet redfish, leaving skin intact and scales on. Blend butter with remainder of ingredients. Brush on flesh side of redfish and season liberally with salt and pepper. Spray grates with non-stick spray and place fillets on hottest area, skin side down. Brush generously with marinade. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Flip and cook 5 more minutes. Flip again, brush with marinade until fish is cooked through. Just before serving, brush with additional marinade and garnish with lemon wedges, flatleaf parsley sprigs, and pickled sweet onion.