Snap to It!

Dean James Max, author of "A Life by the Sea," shows that cooking seafood can be easy and inexpensive!

Pan Roasted Florida Red Snapper with Boniato Puree, Globe Carrots, and Orange Cumin Sauce (Serves 6)

Prep: 40 Minutes
Cook: 10 Minutes


6-7oz. Snapper Fillets
2 bunch green onions
2 dozen baby carrots
2 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil

For Boniato:
3 lbs. Boniato potato
¼ lb. Butter
1 cup heavy cream
2 lemon

For Orange Cumin Sauce:
2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice
2 cups fresh carrot juice
1 Tbsp. Coriander seeds
3 Tbsp. Cumin Seeds
2 Tbsp. Garlic (chopped)
2 Shallots
1 cup chicken stock
4 Tbsp. Butter
1 lime

1. Heat up a heavy Cast Iron or Cold steel pan over a medium high flame. Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and let the oil get hot. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Place the snapper fillets in the pan with the skin side down. Sauté for two minutes and turn the heat down to medium. Cook the fish for an additional 4 minutes. Flip the fish over for the last minute of cooking. The snapper will continue to cook as it makes its trip to the table or while it waits to be enjoyed.

2. Plunge the green onions in boiling salted water for 20 seconds and then transfer them to a bowl with ice water. Do the same with the peeled baby carrots, but you will need to cook them for a minute longer than the green onions. When you are ready to serve the dish, you can warm them up in a sauté pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper.

3. Peel and place the boniato in salted water with the juice of one lemon. Boil the potato until it is tender. Immediately strain the potato and pass it through a sieve or simply smash. Bring the cream to a boil. Fold the cold butter into the warm potato until it has incorporated. Add the boiling cream to the potato mixture and season with salt and pepper. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

In a saucepan over medium heat, lightly sauté the chopped shallots and garlic. Deglaze with the orange juice and carrot juice and bring to a boil. While you are waiting, toast the cumin and coriander in a dry pan and blend into powder in a spice grinder. Add the spices to the boiling juices. Reduce the juice by half and add the chicken stock. Reduce the mixture by half again. Whisk in the butter, juice of one lime, and season with salt and pepper.

Florida Stone Crab with Four Variations (Serves 6)

Prep: 20 Minutes
Cook: 5 Minutes

6 Jumbo Florida Stone Crabs

Method One:
12 oz. Spicy Honey Mustard Aioli
1 lime

Method Two:
1 large beet
1 cup grape seed oil
3 Tbsp. Curry Apple Aioli
2 Tbsp. Chopped chives
1 lemon

Method Three:
2 ripe Avocados
1 Tbsp. Sesame Oil
1 lime
1 Tbsp. Toasted Sesame Seeds

Method Four:
3 Tbs. Garlic Aioli
1 oz. Cilantro sprouts
1 lemon
1 large watermelon radish
1 tsp. salt
½ cup pickling juice

You need at least one jumbo crab claw per person for any of the methods.

Method One: This is the purist method where the crab is serve just cracked with a side of spicy mustard sauce and a wedge of lime.

Method Two: Peel and slice the large beets into very thin circles. Heat the grape seed oil in a small frying pan and add the beet slices. Fry the beet chips until crispy, but before they turn brown. Drain them on a paper towel and season with sea salt. Pick all the meat from the crab claws and mix it in a bowl with the curry aioli, chives, and juice from the lemon. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. On six individual plates, serve equal portions of the crab meat mixture and beet chips.

Method Three:
Crack the claws of the crabs leaving the pincher part intact. Pick all the knuckle meat and reserve. Slice the avocados in half and remove the seed. Scoop out the flesh and smash it in a bowl with the sesame oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. Mix the sesame seeds and the knuckle meat in at the end. Spoon out equal portions of the avocado dip on six plates and prop one claw in each of the mounds of avocado.

Method Four: Peel and slice the watermelon radish in thin slices. Place them in a bowl and cover the radish with the pickling juice and salt. Let the radish marinate for 1 hour. Pick the meat from all the crabs and mix it in a bowl with the garlic aioli, cilantro sprouts, lemon juice, salt and pepper. In a small circular mold, arrange the drained slices of radish. Spoon the crab mixture in the center of the radish circles. Remove the mold and serve.