This snapper recipe comes from a book on cooking for one, but I adapted it for myself and my housemate. The recipe could be easily multiplied to feed any number of people, and it's really quick to pull together for a fast supper that tastes gourmet.
We found 3/4 pound of fish to be perfect for two people (it was one large piece cut in half), but feel free to adjust that depending on your appetite. I like to just tell the fish monger I'm looking for something like snapper and then ask him to recommend what's good that day. This strategy has never failed me! The rest of the ingredients are easy to pick up at the olive bar if your grocery store has one, which is nice because you can purchase just the right amount. I chose a variety of green olives with bits of garlic; any upscale olive would be tasty chopped up here. The olives add a fantastic acidic note to the dish. Next time, I might add capers to add even more of this element. I also grabbed a few roasted red peppers at the olive bar. Finally, fresh fennel sauteed slowly until it becomes soft adds sweetness and a mild anise flavor, rounding out the flavors in the dish perfectly.
The Pleasures of Cooking for One)
1 fennel bulb, fronds reserved
1 T olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 thick slice snapper, about 3/4 pound
Salt and pepper
Large pinch herbes de Provence
About 6 wide strips roasted red pepper, cut into thinner strips
1/3 cup white wine
Several olives, coarsely chopped
Sprinkling of chopped fennel fronds
Slice the fennel very thinly. Heat the oil in a small frying pan, add the fennel, and season with salt and pepper. Cook over very low heat until it begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Clear the bottom of the pan and lay in the snapper, salted and peppered. Sprinkle on the herbes de Provence and roasted red peppers. Pour in the wine, and braise for 5-6 minutes, covered, turning once, and adding the olives during the last minute of cooking. Garnish with chopped fennel fronds.