by Capt. Pete Rapps
Pompano is my absolute favorite local fish. The meat tends to have its own buttery/creamy flavor and texture. I like to serve the fish whole (with the head and internal organs removed of course). A typical whole dressed pompano is around ¾ lb, so I usually count on one pompano per person. I like this recipe because it is so basic and simple, and fresh.
List of ingredients:
At the cleaning station, remove the head and dress the pompano. Wash it thoroughly with cold water, being sure to get up inside the body cavity with a knife so you can score and wash out the dark spinal cord area.
Light your grill on medium-high, or pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees.
In the kitchen, tear sheets of aluminum foil about twice the length of each pompano. On top of the aluminum, take your knife and score the sides of the pompano with diagonal cuts to the bone (about 4 cuts in each direction on each side).
Now call over your good-looking helper. Bend the pompano slightly so the slits you made open up a little. Have your helper drizzle olive oil and Captain Rapps Naples Steak Quake Seasoning onto the pompano as you are bending the slits open. Do this on both sides and rub it with your hand so the olive oil and seasoning gets pushed into the slits.
Now put a lemon slice (not a wedge) on each side of the pompano and wrap it up in the aluminum foil.
Grill for about 10 to 12 minutes per side, or bake for about 40 minutes. Fish is done when the meat flakes with a fork. Be careful not to overcook, as the fish will dry out easily.
When serving, use your fork and knife to remove the small sections of skin. Then be sure to remove the dark brown meat that runs horizontally with the body. This is the fish’s bloodline and you never want to eat this in any fish!
Now use your Captain Rapps Naples Steak Quake Seasoning to taste, and eat the meat right to the bones, then flip it over and start on the other side. Enjoy!