“This beautiful St Lucian fish dish is an exotic treat for the tastebuds. Chris and Dawn first tried red snapper on their Caribbean honeymoon, and we’ve recreated it for them here – lovingly marinated overnight, then roasted in the oven, complete with all the trimmings! The scotch bonnets are, I think, an essential part of the marinade – if you’re feeling (really) brave, leave the seeds in, but equally, if you want to be cautious, you could just use half the amount of chilli. Best enjoyed in the sun, with a loved one and a glass of something cold. ”
For the marinade, deseed the Scotch bonnet and pepper, peel the garlic, trim and quarter the spring onions, then place it all in a blender with the basil, half the coriander and the celery leaves (if using). Melt and add the coconut oil and whiz to a paste, loosening with a good splash of water, if needed.
Use a sharp knife to score the fish all over on both sides, about 1cm deep. Rub over the marinade, getting it into all the slashes, then cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
For the salsa, deseed and finely chop the peppers. Cut a cross into the bottom of each tomato, plunge them into boiling water for 40 seconds, then peel away the skin.
Peel the red onion and garlic, trim the cucumber, then finely chop it all with most of the remaining coriander, mixing as you go.
Scrape into a bowl, stir in the vinegar and hot pepper sauce, then season to perfection with sea salt and black pepper.
To make the beignets, chop the breadfruit into large wedges and cook in boiling salted water with the lid ajar for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender, then drain.
Remove the skin and core, then mash while hot with the butter. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the salsa, then season to perfection.
Divide the mixture into 20 balls, then roll them in the breadcrumbs and place on a tray. Put aside.
Just under half fill a large sturdy pan with oil – the oil should be 8cm deep, but never fill your pan more than half full – and place on a medium-high heat. Use a thermometer to tell when it’s ready (170°C), or add a piece of potato and wait until it turns golden – that’s the sign that it’s ready to go.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220ºC/425ºF/gas 7, and preheat a large ovenproof frying pan or non-stick roasting tray on a high heat on the hob.
Put in the snapper to char and colour for 2 minutes on each side, then transfer to the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until cooked through. To test if it’s done, insert a small, sharp knife into the thickest part just behind the head – the fish should flake away.
While it cooks, peel the plantain and halve lengthways. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a frying pan on a medium-high heat, and cook the plantain for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden. Season.
Carefully drop 6 beignets into the hot vegetable oil and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden, crisp and they rise to the surface. Scoop out and drain on kitchen paper (freeze the rest before frying, to defrost and cook fresh another day).
Serve the fish with the salsa, beignets and plantain. Halve, destone and scoop over the avocado, and finish with a scattering of coriander leaves. Any leftover salsa will keep for up to 2 days in the fridge.