Snapper Recipe


with Saffron-Crab Cream Sauce, Asparagus, and Purple Sweet Potatoes

Recipe by: Chef Beverly Gannon of Haliimaile General Store

Bev Gannon cookbookFISH

  • 8 six ounce snapper fillets
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup Wondra flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    8 fresh thyme sprigs, for garnish


  • 2 teaspoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon minced shallots
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 cups rich fish stock (return to database for recipe)
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup blue crab meat


  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • salt
  • 24 pieces jumbo asparagus


  • 2 pounds Moloka’i purple sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup milk, at room temperature
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


1. To prepare the potatoes, place them in a pot of salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to low and cook the potatoes until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander.

2. Place the milk and the butter in a bowl. Using the potato ricer, rice the potatoes in the bowl. With a rubber spatula, mix the potatoes thoroughly with the butter and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside and keep warm.

3. To prepare the asparagus, bring water to a boil in a large saute pan. Have ready a bowl of ice water. Decrease the heat so the water simmers. Add some salt to the water along with the lemon juice. Add asparagus and cook for about 3 minutes or until just tender. Drain and transfer to the bowl of ice water. When the asparagus is cool, drain, and place in an ovenproof dish. Keep warm.

4. To make the sauce, in a saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots and cook for 1 minute. Add the white wine, bring to a boil, decrease the heat and continue to cook until the wine has reduced to 1 tablespoon. Add the fish stock and the saffron, and reduce the liquid by one-half. Add the cream and reduce by one-half or until the sauce is thick. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer into another saucepan. Add the crabmeat to the sauce. Stir, set aside, and keep warm. (A great way to keep sauces warm and intact for up to 2 to 3 hours, especially cream sauces and beurre blancs, is to store them in a small thermos you keep just for sauces.)

5. To prepare the fish, season the fish fillets with salt and pepper. Place the Wondra in a shallow dish and coat the fish lightly with the flour. In a large saute pan over high heat, melt the butter and olive oil together. Place the fish into the saute pan, in batches, and cook on each side for about 2 minutes. When the fish is cooked, transfer it to a warm plate.

6. To serve, place 1/3 cup of the sweet potatoes in the center of 8 plates. Divide the asparagus among the plates and place the spears on top of the potatoes. Place the fish on top of the asparagus. Ladle about 1/4 cup of the sauce over the fish. Garnish each plate with a fresh thyme sprig.

Reprinted from FAMILY-STYLE MEALS AT THE HALI’IMAILE GENERAL STORE by Beverly Gannon. Copyright © 2009 published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, Inc. Photo credit: Laurie Smith © 2009.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

60 − = 57