Hogfish Snapper are a true delicacy of South Florida. The fish was named because it has a long snout for rooting around in the sand looking for food – hence: a “Hog” fish. They are not really a snapper but a reef fish member of the Wrasse family and abundant in the Florida Keys. These wiley fish are not easily hooked and are a favorite target of both commercial and sport spear fisherman. 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.
Since my introduction I prepare it as often as I come across it and it cooks on the grill in a snap! A little butter, wrapped in foil and a perfect meal! 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. Lately I’ve been making a very simple recipe of Old Bay seasoning + lemon juice mixed into a stick of butter and it’s the perfect compliment to delicate, flaky white Hogfish.
Hogfish Snapper are a true delicacy of South Florida. Since my introduction I prepare it as often as I come across it and it cooks on the grill in a snap!
- 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 Tbsp 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 Tbsp each.
- Grill the fish on direct heat for 7-8 minutes or until the internal temperature has reached 145°F degrees (the fish will flake easily with a fork). Serve with my Charleston Coleslaw and you have a winning meal!
Hogfish cooks in a snap: place 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.