Redfish is abundant in south Louisiana and one of our favorite and easiest ways to cook it is on the half shell. That simply means that you don't scale or skin it, you just cut 2 fillets from each fish and freeze for later or cook them immediately.
This method is also perfect for red snapper, drum, and grouper.
I'm going to give you the directions for broiling these in the oven and cooking them on the outdoor BBQ grill.
You need one 5-6 pound redfish for every two servings. Rinse some of the slime coat off the fish to make it easier to handle.
Using a very sharp fillet knife, or electric knife, start right behind the gills and pectoral fin start cutting the entire side of the fish, down to the stomach, and using the backbone as a guide for your knife blade. Stop just before the tail fin.
Turn fish over and repeat. Remove the ribs and feel for any bones that might still be in the fillet. Use needle-nose pliers to pull out the tiny bones.
Rinse the fillets well before adding seasoning.
Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the fillets scales side down. Liberally pour Italian dressing over the fillets, covering them completely. Allow to marinate at least 30 minutes.
Sprinkle with Creole Seasoning (I use Tony Chachere's), then place thin slices of lemon over the meat.
Set oven rack to the center of the oven and broil for 20 minutes leaving the oven door slightly ajar. Check thickest part of flesh for doneness. Flesh needs to be opaque all the way to the skin - if any part is still shiny or semi-clear then it's not done. Don't overcook.
Prepare the fillets just as you would if broiling. Either make individual aluminum foil boats for each filet or put them directly on the grill. The aluminum foil boats will help hold the Italian Dressing in and keep the fillets from drying out.
Grill for 15 minutes - test thickest part of flesh for doneness. When done remove from grill and serve immediately.
Use a rubber spatula or spoon to remove the meat from the skin, or just eat it directly on the half shell. This is one of the easiest and most delicious ways of cooking redfish or red snapper.
*TIP: If you want to use clean fillets (completely removed from skin on both sides) you can still marinate them the same way and bake or broil them on a aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Spray foil with non-stick spray first.
*NOTES: Discard the guts and tail, then wash the fish very good to remove the slime coat from the head and skin along the backbone. Freeze these pieces to make a wonderful fish stock.
*OPTIONS: This is a basic recipe which can be used as a base. Add sliced bell pepper, green onions, white wine, fresh salsa, shrimp or whatever you want on your fish. You can also make aluminum foil tents to steam your fish in herbs and juices in the oven or on the grill. This method will work with ANY non-oily whitefish. If the fish has a very thin or delicate skin I would recommend scaling or completely filleting the fish.