I made a sumptuous Red Snapper with Chickpeas and Tomatoes and it was from the new cookbook The Weeknight Mediterranean Kitchen by Samantha Ferraro. What is Mediterranean food? It has been defined as a cuisine with a diversity of ingredients from geographical areas like Greece, Italy, Spain, Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey. If I close my eyes I imagine Mediterranean food to be a range of rich meat stews with vegetables, tomatoes and varying layers of fragrant herbs and spices. I was not surprised to find many similarities to Filipino cuisine and dishes I have learned to cook from my mother’s time. There are numerous Philippine recipes that were influenced by Spanish cooking so there you find the commonalities right away.
When my friend and fellow food blogger Samantha Ferraro, founder of The Little Ferraro Kitchen sent me her cookbook as a gift, I was pleasantly pleased. The 80 authentic, healthy and easy recipes in her book were not only so appealing, they were conveniently so doable. I found many of her recipes had ingredients I already had in my pantry, so I didn’t need to go out shopping. Access to ingredients is a deal breaker for me. And I’m sure it is for you, too. Our busy lives just cannot take one more addition to an already hectic schedule. “Cooking is an art, but it doesn’t have to be time-consuming,” said Samantha in her book’s introduction. I agree 100%.
This recipe for Poached Red Snapper will convince you, too. There were no fancy skills needed to cook this. It was a one-pot, all-in-one meal that’s my kind of cooking. And best of all, this dish cooked in under an hour which makes it a winner. As soon as the dish was ready, and I uncovered the lid, the robust, sweet aromas from the tomatoes and tomato sauce floated upwards, the warm steam hitting my cheeks. I plated the whole fish carefully in the serving platter and ladled spoonfuls of the slightly thick tomato-based broth all over. The chickpeas tumbled on top of the red snapper and the entire bandejado looked magnificent. Sometimes, the best dinners are the easiest ones to prepare.
As a gift to readers, author Samantha Ferraro is giving away 2 copies of her cookbook. Follow my Instagram account @BettyAnnQuirino post today 8/15 and get a chance to win. This promotion runs till 8/19 and is for USA residents.
Red Snapper with Chickpeas and Tomatoes
- Large Skillet
- 2 pounds whole Red Snapper cleaned, scales and intestines removed (or use fillets)
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 whole white or yellow onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic peeled, minced
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1 whole tomato sliced
- 1 cup canned, drained chickpeas or garbanzos
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 whole fresh lemon zested, sliced thin, seeds removed
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 sprigs fresh oregano
- 2 sprigs fresh dill
- for serving steamed rice
- Wash the whole fish inside and out with cold, running water. If using fillets, do the same. Pat the fish dry with paper towels. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, over medium heat, add the olive oil. When oil is hot enough in 1 to 2 minutes, add the white onions and sauté for 2 minutes till translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute more till it is fragrant.
- To the skillet, add the tomato sauce, tomatoes, and chickpeas. Combine all the ingredients well. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes to let the flavors set.
- Pour the wine and broth to the ingredients. Blend well.
- Add the fish to the center of the skillet. Make sure it is nestled well with the ingredients.
- Place the sliced lemon, lemon zest, oregano and dill on top of the fish.
- Cover the entire skillet. Continue cooking over a low simmer for 20 minutes till the fish for this amount (2 pounds) is cooked. *Note: If cooking a larger amount of fish, cooking times vary.
- When fish is cooked, place on a large serving platter. Spoon the tomato sauce-based broth over the fish. Garnish with the rest of the ingredients all around the platter. Serve with steamed rice.
- Cooking Tips: When buying a whole snapper or any fish from the market, I ask the fish monger to clean and scale it for me. At times, if the recipe calls for it, I ask them to fillet the fish, too. Take advantage of this free service from the fish market which makes cooking easier.
- Cook’s comments: In the cookbook, the author used halibut. Samantha suggests if halibut is not available, use any other mild fish like cod, tilapia, sea bass or salmon. Cooking time will be less if fish cuts are thinner. She also used fillets in her recipe. I chose to use a whole red snapper because it was what I just purchased in the fish market. Cook the fish the same day it is purchased for best results.
- About the Author: Samantha Ferraro is the founder of the food blog The Little Ferraro Kitchen. Her recipes have been featured on PBS Food, the Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times, Babble, Yummly, and the Washington Post. She has also been the Los Angeles Times Food Holiday Baking Winner. Her new cookbook is available where most books are sold or right now via my Amazon affiliate link above this blog post.
- Product Disclosure: I was not paid to review or mention the cookbook. My opinions are my own.
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Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
Copyright Notice: Hello, Friends! Please DO NOT LIFT OR PLAGIARIZE my original recipe, stories, photos or videos. All the images and content on this blog are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to copy, scrape, lift, frame, plagiarize or use my photos, essays, stories and recipe content on your websites, books, films, television shows, videos, without my permission. If you wish to republish this recipe or content on media outlets mentioned above, please ASK MY PERMISSION, or re-write it in your own words and link back to my blog AsianInAmericaMag.com to give proper attribution. It is the legal thing to do. Thank you. Email me at [email protected]