Hogfish Snapper, though technically a member of the wrasse family and not a true snapper, are absolutely a true delicacy of South Florida. They are abundant in the Florida Keys as they are reef fish.
Because they are hard to catch with a hook, they are usually often caught via spearfishing, making them a little harder to come by than other fish down here. I had Hogfish for the first time at my wedding at Pierre’s in Islamorada and I’ve been hooked (no pun intended!) ever since. It is the best whitefish I’ve ever had, period.
I’m big on compound butters because they’re easy and can be used to add flavor to meat, bread, veggies and just about anything you can think of. Old Bay seasoning + lemon juice, mixed with butter are the perfect compliment to delicate, flaky white Hogfish. I paired this with Charleston Coleslaw, and grilled Texas Toast for a truly memorable meal.
The fish cooks in a snap- simply put the fish on a double layer of heavy duty foil that is folded up on the edges so the butter doesn’t run off. Spray the foil with non-stick spray beforehand to ensure the fish does not stick.
- 4 Hogfish filets
- 1 stick of butter, softened
- 3 lemons: juice of 2 lemons including zest for the butter, the remaining lemon should be sliced and placed on the fish before grilling
- 2 tblsp Old Bay
Preheat a grill to medium high heat (350-400 degrees). While the grill heats up, make your compound butter by combining the butter with the lemon juice, zest and Old Bay with a stick blender. Spray the foil tray with nonstick spray, then add the filets. Add a generous amount of the butter to each filet, about 1 tblsp each.
Grill the fish on direct heat for 7-8 minutes or until the internal temperature has reached 145 degrees (the fish will flake easily with a fork). Serve with my Charleston Coleslaw and you have a winning meal!
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