Grilled Snapper Sandwich with Criolla Sella Remoulade

Grilled Snapper Sandwich with Criolla Sella Remoulade
Grilled Snapper Sandwich with Criolla Sella Remoulade

When looking to make an unforgettable fish sandwich, we recommend pulling these things together. Get your grill, some ripe tomatoes and sweet onions, and a firm filet of mild red snapper. These are great when on their own, but to put an exclamation point on this dish, look no further than the creamy luxury of spicy remoulade. Originating in 17th-century France, this dressed up mayonnaise is rich with the pungent flavor of garlic and the briny bite of pickles and capers. It comes together in a matter of minutes—blend eggs, oil, and garlic for the aioli base, then chop some pickles, toss in your capers, and season it with whatever spices suit your fancy.

We spiced up our remoulade with the complex beauty of Criolla Sella Chiles. These peppers first emerged in Bolivia, and have quietly become an important ingredient to the cuisines of South America. This chile pepper is brimming with bold, fruity flavors that offer hints of mango and sweet citrus. The heat is comparable to a Chipotle Morita Chile, though the fruit flavor is much stronger than that of a chipotle and it’s not got a smoky quality. We rehydrated these chiles so they’d be suitable for blending, and remember, you can always blend less chiles into the remoulade to start with and taste as you go, if 6 seems like a lot.

Remoulade has an affinity for lighter meats, so we decided to pair it with mild, sweet, even slightly nutty red snapper. Don’t be fooled by the name; red snapper’s outer scales are indeed red but on the inside, it’s an un-fishy tasting, mild white fish. You can find this fish around the world, from the Gulf of Mexico to Indonesia, incorporated into a wide range of cuisines and adaptable to a plethora of cooking styles. The flesh is delicate, as most white fish is, but it’s got a bit of firmness to it that allows it to stand up to grilling without falling apart. Make sure the grill is clean and well-oiled before you put the fish on so no charred food remnants can grab the fish and pull it to pieces. You can leave the skin on the fish to help hold it together, and don’t overcook the fish, since that can dry it out and cause it to fall apart, too.

Get your grill to a steady, medium-hot heat and put the fish, and the tomato and onion slices, on the grill. If you want the vegetables to get a bit more of a char on them you can put them on a minute or two earlier than your fish filet, but they won’t need to cook much more than that. Flip once after 2-3 minutes. In the last minute of cook time put your bun of choice on the grill. It doesn’t have to be a Kaiser roll, but it should be something with a bit of heft and a fun, crusty exterior, since there’s a lot of fish and vegetables to hold on one bun. Once the fish and veggies are cooked, layer them onto the roll and top with a generous dollop of creamy, tangy, spicy remoulade. Serve this sandwich with a side salad or a big handful of chips and if the weather is fine take it out to the porch to eat. This grilled snapper masterpiece is best enjoyed with warm breezes and a nice, cold glass of your favorite summer drink.

 Print Recipe

Prep Time: 30 min.
Cooking Time: 10 min.
Cooking Method: Grilling
Cuisine: South American
  • 6 Criolla Sella Chiles
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¾ cup olive oil plus more for brushing
  • 1 Tablespoon capers
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped pickle of choice
  • 5-6 ounce red snapper filet
  • Medium sliced sweet onion
  • Medium sliced Roma tomatoes
  • Kosher Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper, Fine Grind to taste
  • 1 Kaiser roll or other thick, crusty roll

1. Place Criolla Sella Chiles in a sealable plastic bag filled with hot water and allow to rehydrate for 45 minutes.

2. Prepare a medium hot charcoal or wood grill.

3. Remove the stems from the chiles and discard. In a food processor puree the Criolla Sella chiles, garlic cloves, and egg yolk. Add roughly half of the lemon juice and pulse to combine. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until a thick aioli is created. 

4. Stir in capers and pickles. Finish seasoning remoulade with remaining lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste.

5. Brush snapper filet, tomato slices, and onion slices with olive oil, Kosher Salt, and Fine Ground Pepper. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side.

6. Toast the bun at the last minute and assemble the sandwich, layering tomatoes and onions on the snapper. Top with the Criolla Sella Remoulade.