Sunday Supper: Salt Oven Baked Citrus Whole Fish With Mango Salsa with Black Beans and Dirty Rice

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Sundays are for experiments and slow cooking; this one was definitely an experiment This recipe is fun for the whole family and everyone can take part including the kids. It’s like building a snowman, packing the salt around the fish the way you would a snowball, except afterwards you eat it. You will need a kitchen mallet to break the salt open after baking or similar object as the salt bakes to a hard crust.

It is a fun group activity and makes the fish really moist. I assumed that the salt would make the fish taste salty but that is not the case at all, the salt oven simply seals in the moisture.

This can be made with a variety of fish including sea bass, salmon, snapper etc. We wanted snapper but got to the butcher too late and had to settle for rock fish so the images aren’t as vibrant as I had imagined. Which leads me to my tips of the day:

Sugar Tip: Call your butcher in advance and have your preferred fish ordered for the specific date. Expect to pick up the fish the morning that it was delivered and ask them to clean it for you and leave the scales on.

Sugar Tip:This would be a great dish for a crowd however, beware of the bones! This project is better suited for adult eaters who can pick out the bones.

Sugar Tip: When choosing your salt, read this handy guide from Whole Foods. Salt Guide

What You Need
1 Whole Fish Expect to serve 4-6 oz. Per person and order accordingly.

For the salt oven crust
4 egg whites
2 sprigs Fresh thyme stems removed
Lemon zest
Sea Salt (use the equivalent of 1.5 containers of the whole Foods Brand 365 Everyday sea salt)

For the Stuffing
1 whole Lemon sliced
1 whole Lime sliced
1 Whole Orange sliced
1 Bay leaf
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1T. Olive oil
Salt & pepper

For the Rice
1T. Olive oil
1/2 small yellow onion chopped
1 garlic clove minced
1 link anoulie sausage 5 min

For the Salsa
1 Serrano chili seeds removed and minced
1 Mango
1 medium Red Bell Pepper diced small
1/2 Red onion diced small
Cilantro stems removed, leaves chopped
1/2 Lime juice
1teas. Sherry vinegar
1T. Honey

For the Beans
1-2 cans of black beans
1/2 yellow onion
1garlic clove minced
Salt & pepper to taste

What To Do
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Begin by making your salt crust. In a large bowl, mix the egg whites well. Add the thyme leaves and the zest of one lemon. Whisk together then add salt.
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On a large cookie sheet, add a layer of salt mixture to the center of the pan large enough for the fish to lay on.20111113-101703.jpg

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Drizzle olive oil over your citrus slices and sprinkle with salt and peppper. Stuff the cavity of the fish with the lemon, lime, and orange slices, bay leaf and thyme sprigs.
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Carefully place the stuffed fish on the salt and begin to pack the salt around it.20111113-101809.jpg

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Bake the fish for 25 minutes. Allow fish to rest 10-15 minutes before removing salt. Crack salt with a kitchen mallet and peel away being careful not to burn yourself.
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Remove the head and tail or serve family style in the center of the table.
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Serve with a Albarino from the Rias Baixas.

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