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Macadamia-Crusted Red Snapper with Maui Onion Relish and Ginger Butter

YIELD: 12 servings

3 Maui or other sweet onions, finely diced
3 Tbsps. chives, chopped
3 Tbsps. cilantro, chopped
3 tsps. pickled ginger
3 Tbsps. vinegar reserved from the pickled ginger
3/4 tsp. wasabi
6 Tbsps. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsps. ground cumin
1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp. julienned cucumber
3/4 tsp iodized salt rounds
3/4 tsp. black pepper

3 lbs. unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup gingerroot, chopped
3/4 tsp. iodized salt rounds
3/8 tsp. sugar

3 cups macadamia nuts, chopped
12 red snapper fillets, 4-oz. each
3/4 tsp iodized salt rounds
3/4 tsp. black pepper
6 Tbsps. cilantro, chopped

  1. FOR THE MAUI ONION RELISH: In a nonreactive mixing bowl, stir together all the relish ingredients, adjusting seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  2. FOR THE GINGER BUTTER: Put all butter ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Set aside at room temperature.
  3. FOR THE FISH: Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a baking dish or dishes large enough to hold the fillets without touching. Evenly spread the chopped macadamia nuts on a large dinner plate. Season both sides of the fish fillets with salt and pepper and spread the ginger butter evenly on their top side.Then press the buttered side of each fillet into the macadamia nuts to coat; place fillets nut-side up in the baking dish(es).
  4. Bake fillets until cooked through and nut crusts are golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes, depending upon the thickness of the fish. Spoon the Maui onion relish onto 12 serving plates and transfer a fillet on top of the relish. Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.

Recipe from Executive Chef Steven Miller, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

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