Baked Snapper With Oyster Stuffing
- 1 (12-ounce) container standard oysters, undrained
- 1/2 cup soft breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons whipping cream
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 6 (1/2-pound) snapper fillets
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/3 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Fresh parsley sprigs
- Drain oysters, reserving 3/4 cup oyster liquor; set liquor aside. Coarsely chop oysters. Combine half of chopped oysters, soft breadcrumbs, whipping cream, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and paprika, stirring until well blended. Cover and refrigerate remaining chopped oysters.
- Using a sharp knife, make a 1- inch-deep incision down the length of each fillet. Stuff each pocket with oyster mixture. Place stuffed fillets in a shallow baking pan; brush with beaten egg, and sprinkle with fine, dry breadcrumbs. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until fillets flake easily when tested with a fork. Transfer to a warm serving platter; set aside, and keep warm.
- Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat; add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk, reserved oyster liquor, and remaining chopped oysters; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat, and stir in remaining salt and pepper.
- Pour oyster sauce over fillets, and garnish with fresh parsley sprigs, if desired. Serve immediately.
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