By Flavor & The Menu
May 5, 2020
Tender and sweet, fish cheeks are prized by chefs, but unfamiliar to many diners. Adam Evans, Executive Chef/Owner of Automatic Seafood & Oysters, serves a starter of Snapper Cheeks that boasts nuanced flavors aimed at building the dish into a superstar while keeping it approachable with familiar ingredients.
He sears and braises the cheeks in apple cider/vegetable broth. He then lays them over a purée of apple, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, chile flakes, black pepper and fennel seed. A salad of fresh apple and pickled fennel finishes the dish. “The cheeks are a rich bite of fish, the apple is sweet and warm, and the fennel is both clean and fresh,” says Evans.
He sources whole Gulf snapper from local waters and tries to use as many parts of the fish as possible. “Our concept revolves around the whole fish, so we needed to find ways to use the remaining weight [after extracting the fillets] to create menu items,” he says.