Wheat and I just got back from a quick Labor Day weekend trip to my parents’ beach house in St. Joe Beach, where we had healthy servings of Buffalo Backs, which is sort of a new family tradition in the Bristol family. I’ve had this post in my drafts folder for months, but finally got around to posting it since we ate them again. Even the pictures are old!
What are Buffalo Backs, you ask? Well, if you’re a grouper or snapper fisherman, you know that when you clean the fish, you normally (most probably) throw away the backs and throats and heads of the fish. However, there’s a lot of meat on there… really, really delicious meat! It’s just difficult to clean. And so, most people throw them out (or the guy who is cleaning the fish sneakily takes them home!). Luckily, my dad usually keeps them himself, and we often have had grilled grouper throats throughout the years, and it’s my FAVORITE part of the fish. Angelo’s & Sons Restaurant in Panacea, Florida owns their own commercial fishing boats, and therefore is well aware of the throats and backs that would normally be a byproduct of the catch. They put “Buffalo Backs” on their menu, and I’ve been hooked since the first time I tried them!
Now, this is not an official recipe or anything, because they wouldn’t tell me at all what was in their recipe. So this is my attempt at figuring it out. After making it a couple times, my dad and I feel like we’ve hit upon a good recipe… even if it isn’t an official Angelo’s recipe. Enjoy!
Angelo’s Buffalo Backs Recipe
– grouper/red snapper fileted rib sections and backs.
– 2 sticks butter
– 1 large onion, diced
– 1 small bottle Crystal hot sauce
– 2 tablespoons ground red pepper
– 2 teaspoons paprika
– 2 tablespoons minced garlic
– salt and pepper to taste
– 3 tablespoons lemon juice (or to taste)
– sliced green onions (garnish)
Saute diced onion in the butter until soft and translucent. Add the hot sauce, red pepper, paprika, garlic, and salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, add lemon juice to taste, then set aside.
Salt and pepper grouper or snapper rib sections and backs. Grill as desired, then toss in the buffalo sauce. Serve immediately.
Because when we have Snapper backs, we have lots of Snapper backs, it’s a social affair to cook Buffalo backs. It takes a while to grill all of them, and requires lots of people to eat all of them. The last time we did it was not long after my niece Elah was born! My dad’s good friend, Galt, a few more friends, my parents, Wheat and me, all headed to Quincy to visit with new baby Elah and pig out.
The little fluffy dogs (Harold & Betsey) were very curious about the smell of grilling meat.
The moral of this story is twofold:
1) babies grow wayyyyyy too fast, and
2) never throw out your grouper and red snapper backs and throats.