Pargo relleno (stuffed red snapper)

Yield: 4 Servings

Measure Ingredient
5 pounds Red snapper cleaned and prepared for baking, with backbone removed and head and tail left on (or substitute sea bass striped bass, or pike )
\N \N Juice of 4 limes
2 \N Cloves garlic, minced
\N \N Salt
\N \N Black pepper to taste
4 slices White bread, torn into small pieces
½ cup Milk
2 tablespoons Spanish olive oil
2 tablespoons Salted butter
1 small Onion, finely chopped
½ small Green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 small Tomato, seeded and finely chopped
1 \N Clove garlic, minced
½ cup Minced baked ham
3 tablespoons Dry sherry
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Finely chopped parsley
\N \N Salt
\N \N Black pepper to taste
½ pounds Small raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 \N Lobster tail simmered in salted water to cover over medium heat until cooked, about 5 minutes, and sliced into 4 pieces


Rinse the fish, pat it dry with paper towels, and place it on a nonreactive platter. Squeeze the lime juice over the skin, and rub the fish inside and out with garlic, salt, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

To prepare the stuffing, soak the bread in the milk in a small bowl.

In a medium-size skillet over low heat, heat the oil and butter until fragrant, then cook the onion, bell pepper, tomato, garlic, and ham, stirring, until the onion is tender but not brown, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add the sherry, Worcestershire, and parsley, mix thoroughly, remove from the heat, and allow to cool slightly. Squeeze the bread to remove the excess milk, stir into the mixture, and add salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Drain the fish and reserve the marinade (there will be a small amount). Stuff the fish with the stuffing mixture, arrange the shrimp and lobster slices on top of the stuffing, and sew up the pocket with needle and thread or secure with toothpicks or skewers. Transfer the fish to a shallow baking pan lined with well-oiled aluminum foil, allowing for enough overlap to pick up the fish. If the tail does not fit in the pan, wrap it in foil. Pour the reserved marinade over the fish, drizzle with a bit of oil, place in the oven, and bake, uncovered, until the fish flakes easily when pierced with a fork, about 1 hour. For an even crisper skin, place in a preheated broiler for the last 3 to 4 minutes of cooking time. Transfer the fish carefully to a serving platter, remove the thread, toothpicks, or skewers, and serve hot. Makes 4 to 6 servings

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