Cooper Miller, the chef and owner of Forklift in Tupelo, serves up a platter of Mississippi’s flavors with his tasty chorizo and potato encrusted snapper to liven up your suppertime. The recipe pulls in fresh, late-summer produce in the form of a roasted jalapeño sauce, corn purée, and heirloom tomato salsa. It demonstrates Miller’s practice of shaping Southern dishes around seasonally available ingredients.
Serves 4 to 6
2 cups fresh corn kernels
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup chicken stock
1 (1-ounce) bag corn chips
Salt and pepper to taste
4 jalapeño peppers
1 green bell pepper
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
½ ounce agave syrup
2 heirloom tomatoes, finely diced
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
½ bunch diced cilantro
1 ounce tequila
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
1 teaspoon black pepper, plus more for seasoning
8 ounces chorizo
1 cup instant potato mix
4 (4-6 ounce) snapper fillets
2 tablespoons butter
Fresh cilantro for garnish
For the summer corn purée:
For the roasted jalapeño sauce
For the heirloom tomato salsa:
For the fish:
- Make the summer corn purée: In a medium pot, combine corn, cream, and stock and stir to incorporate. Over medium heat, bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let mixture simmer for 15 minutes. Use a sieve or chinois to strain corn from liquid, reserving the cooking liquid.
- Transfer corn to an upright blender and add just enough of the reserved liquid to barely cover the corn. Add ½ bag of corn chips, salt, and pepper, and blend at high speed until completely smooth. Set aside.
- Make the roasted jalapeño sauce: In a large pan over high heat, cook whole peppers, garlic, and shallots until charred. Transfer to a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let cool 10 minutes. Remove plastic wrap and remove charred skin and seeds from peppers.
- In an upright blender, combine roasted vegetables with remaining ingredients and 2 ounces of water, and blend at high speed until smooth. Set aside.
- Make the heirloom tomato salsa: In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and stir to mix evenly. Let sit for 30 minutes then drain excess liquid.
- Make the fish: In a plate or shallow dish, whisk eggs with milk, and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a sauté pan over medium heat, cook chorizo. Use a slotted spoon to transfer meat from pan, reserving cooking oil.
- On a plate, spread potatoes in an even layer. Season fish with additional salt and pepper, then, working one filet at a time, dip top half of fish in milk mixture then dip in potatoes. Heat pan with chorizo oil over medium-high heat, add fish, and cook, skin side down, until a nice crust forms. Flip filets and add butter to the pan, basting filets until fully cooked.
- To plate, spread a thin layer of jalapeño sauce on plate and top with corn purée in the center and sprinkle with chorizo. Place fish over purée and top with salsa. Garnish with fresh cilantro.