Adventures in Fish Town, Part 1

The one bad thing about being a newlywed is having to develop a whole new holiday schedule. Whose house, where, how long, mode of travel? To alternate or not to alternate, that is the question… The answer is that we alternate.

The downside of alternating is that each year we miss out on some family traditions, the good side is that we can skip some traditions all together and go on vacation instead. This year, we did both. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. I’m in a literary mood this evening, please enjoy.

My husband’s very Italian family has a Christmas Eve tradition that I’m so heartbroken to have never witnessed, that I almost hesitate to utter its name. The Feast of the Seven Fishes. Amazing, no? I like to picture J.K. Rowling writing and tossing it into a crumpled pile of discarded Harry Potter subtitles, but I digress…

This event, from what I understand, is as excellent as it sounds. Holiday cheer, friends and family, and lots and lots of fish. Though I’ve missed this hallowed event twice now, it hasn’t stopped me from dreaming of its greatness. So this year, when we high-tailed it to the Florida Keys with my family for Christmas, I was thrilled to find out we’d have a chance to recreate the feast: we were going deep sea fishing.

That's my guy on the left. Why, yes, I do have a handsome husband. Thank you for noticing, and yes, It's great.
That’s my guy on the left. Why, yes, I do have a handsome husband. Thank you for noticing, and yes, It’s great.

Despite a rousing battle with sea-sickness, I enjoyed every part of the fish hunt. We caught more than enough to keep us full for the whole trip, and to recreate our own tropical feast of the seven fishes. We tried a great many things – most involving a grill – and too many to put into one post.


Today, we’ll talk about a simple foil-roasted snapper filet, and later, we’ll talk about trial and error with whole fishes.

Time commitment: Time? We’re on island time! Don’t worry about it!

The must have’s:

  • Flaky white fish filets
  • Lemon
  • Olive oil or butter
  • Garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dry white wine (nice to have, but not needed)
  • Sage, tarragon, basil, or other light, aromatic herbs
  • Aluminum foil

The process:

Tear off a square of aluminum foil and place two filets inside (see back image – I told you we had tons of fish)


Finely chop two cloves of garlic and two thin lemon or lime slices and place on top of foil.

Next, drizzle with olive oil or toss in a small pat of butter.

Nice healthy white fish? Throw some butter on it! Not my usual MO, but sometimes you get a little Paula Deen in your system and there’s only one way to let it out.

Fold the sides of the foil up to create a boat – add 2 tablespoons of wine, and grind salt and pepper on top.

Seal the edges of the foil, and place on the grill over medium heat for 7 to 10 minutes with grill closed.

Consider grilling some veggies to accompany your fish!

Remove from heat, and carefully unfold foil with tongs and transfer fish to plate.

Shake or tear herbs on top, serve hot, and enjoy!


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