Written by Capt Pete Rapps | July 20, 2009

Passionate about catching and cooking, Capt Rapps shares recipes for Pompano and Snapper.

Capt. Rapps Recipes

Whole Pompano

You will need...

  • 1 whole dressed pompano per person
  • Olive oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Lemon slices
  • Aluminum foil
  • 1 good looking helper (important!)

It doesn’t take much to make fresh fish taste great. Being passionate about the catch and the feast doesn’t hurt. Captain Rapps, one of the newest member guides to join the Snook Foundation, obviously loves fishing and sharing everything about his ‘addiction’.

“I hear reels screaming in my sleep. I see recipes in my head before a hooked fish even gets into the boat,” reports Capt Pete. Here are a couple of his summer favorites.

Pompano is my absolute favorite local fish. The meat tends to have it’s 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.

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.

Score Fish
score and season your pompano right on the aluminum

Light your grill on medium-high, or pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees.

In the kitchen, tear sheets of aluminum foil about double the length of each pompano. Right on 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 get your good looking helper….. bend the pompano slightly so the slits you made open up a little. Have your helper drizzle olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper 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, salt, and pepper gets pushed into the slits.

Now put a lemon slice (not wedge) on each side of the pompano and wrap it up in the aluminum foil.

Be careful not to overcook

Grill for about 10 – 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 triangles 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 salt and pepper the meat to taste and eat the meat right to the bones, then flip it over and start on the other side.


Snapper with Fruit Salsa

You will need...

  • 8 small snapper fillets
  • 2 TBS Emeril’s Essence, or Low salt Everglades Seasoning
  • ¼ cup Olive oil

For the Salsa:

  • 1 ripe mango
  • 1 ripe Kiwi
  • ½ sweet yellow peppers
  • ½ sweet green peppers
  • ½ sweet Vidalia onion
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped Cilantro
  • ½ fresh diced jalapeño pepper (seeds and ribs removed)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 TBS sugar
  • 1 lemon

Prepare Fruit Salsa first:

Dice Mango, kiwi, sweet peppers, onion, cilantro, and jalapeño pepper and mix together in medium stainless or glass bowl. Add salt, pepper, sugar, and juice from one lemon and stir. Cover and put in fridge for about 1 hour.

Heat olive oil in pan on medium heat

Sprinkle Snapper fillets with Emeril’s Essence or low salt Everglades Seasoning. Cook in olive oil on medium heat about 4 to 5 minutes per side, just until it begins to flake with a fork.

Serve hot snapper on plates, and serve cold fruit salsa in separate bowl. Put desired amount of fruit salsa on your snapper and eat it up!