Red Snapper Fillets in Creole Court Bouillon From Dr. Jessica B. Harris

December 20, 2021
2 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland. Food stylist: Anna Billingskog. Prop stylist: Megan Hedgpeth.
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

"This is a variation on the redfish court bouillon that is traditionally served in many of the Black Creole homes of New Orleans at Christmastime. Here, though, instead of the entire baked fish, snapper fillets are poached in the Creole court bouillon, which is more like a Creole sauce than like the classic French court bouillon poaching liquid. You may wish to serve this as a main dish, or as an alternative main dish along the more traditional roasts that usually appear on the New Year table."

Excerpted with permissions from A Kwanzaa Keepsake: Celebrating the Holiday with New Traditions and Feasts by Dr. Jessica B. Harris, Simon & Schuster, 1998.Food52

What You'll Need
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon crushed allspice berries
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1 medium-sized onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced celery
  • 2 tablespoons minced green bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced scallion
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 large fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 8 (1/4-pound) red snapper fillets
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced hot chile, to taste
  • Cooked white rice, to serve.
  1. Prepare a roux by heating the olive oil in a large heavy nonreactive skillet. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly until you have a tan paste. Add the allspice, thyme, onion, garlic, celery, bell pepper, scallion, parsley, bay leaves, tomatoes, water, and wine and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. The mixture will thicken into a heavy sauce. Add the fish, lower the heat, and allow the mixture to simmer for 5 minutes or until the fish is cooked.
  2. Remove the fish fillets and keep them on a heated platter. Add the lemon juice, salt, and Chile to the sauce, stir into the mixture well, and continue to cook or 3 minutes. Taste the sauce and adjust to taste. When ready to serve, spoon over the fish fillets. Serve hot with cooked white rice.

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