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Fish à la creole by Martin Bush

Updated: Apr 23, 2020

Thank you to Martin for providing this recipe. He did not have a picture so I went ahead and made it. Besides my husband and I love cajun cooking!

We couldn't find red snapper so we bought whole tilapia. The picture doesn't do this dish justice. I just didn't know how to plate it nicer. However, this was delicious! Even my daughter who never likes fish loved it! The sauce is to die for!

This is a simple and quick meal to put together. It does need time simmering on the stove and then in the oven, but no extra work needed. Just make sure you start this dish off well head of dinner time.

Servings: 4

Active Time: 30 min

Inactive Time: 2 hrs

Total Time: 2 hrs 30 min


  • 2 medium size red snapper, sustainable sourced (or other similar size fish) about 3 pounds

  • ½ cup red wine (optional)

  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 scotch bonnet red pepper finely chopped (or a tablespoon of your favourite pepper sauce—Matouk’s is the best. I never use Tabasco, which is very acidic)

  • 2 teaspoons sugar (brown is best but white will do)

  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or oregano, plus a couple of cloves

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. In a heavy pan, gently fry the garlic and onions in a little olive oil until softened. Add the red wine and let the liquid boil away to almost nothing. Add the crushed tomatoes, sugar, red pepper, herbs, cloves and salt. Then simmer on low heat for at least an hour to develop the flavours. Stir occasionally since it may stick. The sauce should be thick and spicy.

  2. Wash and drain the fish. In a rectangular oven-proof dish, lay the fish flat and splash with a good dash of olive oil and a teaspoon of salt. Move the fish around and turn them over so they all salted and oiled.

  3. Pour the hot sauce over the filets. There should be just enough sauce to completely cover the fish.

  4. Bake in the oven at 350 F uncovered for an hour. The top will dry out a little but that’s fine.

  5. Serve with white rice. Serves four.

Note: Fish fillets can also be cooked in this way. The sauce is the same, but the dish is not so spectacular.

This is a simplified version of the real thing: baked red snapper à la creole. The complete recipe can be found in one of the best seafood cookbooks of all time: Creole Jumbo and all that Jazz, by Howard Mitcham.

Since we have the oven fired up, I like to quickly roast some Brussel sprouts. I think this is the best way to cook sprouts. I use frozen sprouts—much more convenient and less food waste. In a small baking dish or pan mix as many frozen sprouts as you can eat with just enough olive oil to get them all oily. Mix in a good pinch of salt and spread them across the pan. They should be spread out, not piled up. Bake with the fish dish, but the sprouts only take about 30 minutes. Prod them to make sure they are soft, then take them out of the oven. Delicious!

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