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Whole Red Snapper, Simply Roasted

1 whole red snapper -- gutted gilled and scaled 2-2 1/2 pounds
2 tablespoons olive oil preferably extra-virgin
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
salt & freshly ground black pepper -- to taste
lemon quarters -- for garnish
chopped fresh parsley -- for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 500F. To make cleanup easier, line a roasting pan with aluminum foil and set a wire rack in the pan.

2. With kitchen shears, snip the fins off the fish. Rinse the fish and blot it dry with paper towels. On each side of the fish, cut 2 or 3 vertical gashes through the flesh right down to the center bone. Sprinkle the fish (on both sides) with 1 tablespoon of the oil and 1 tablespoon of the vinegar or lemon juice, sprinkle with salt and pepper and rub the fish to make sure the seasonings get into the gashes. Transfer the fish to the prepared pan.

3. Roast, undisturbed, for 20 minutes. Check the fish for doneness by peering into one of the slits; if the meat at the bone is opaque, the fish is done. If not, continue to roast 5 to 10 minutes longer.

4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Transfer the fish to a platter. Drizzle the oil-vinegar mixture on top and garnish with lemon quarters and parsley. To serve, use a spoon to lift the flesh from the bone.

Makes 4 servings.


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