A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Better Snapper Veracruz

We bought some gorgeous snapper from the Beaufort fish guy who sells up here on Saturdays. He said it was silk snapper. It had a big flavor-enhancing set of ribs in the middle of it, so we got a discount. (We also bought a little half-pound fillet of grouper that Lawson coated in flour and pan-fried for our lunch. I made tartar sauce and bought some nice buns and a tomato. We were very inspired by those flounder sandwiches at Whaley's in Edisto and have been thinking about them ever since, you see.)

I love fish Veracruz-style, but sometimes it seems too -- too cooked, I guess. Too stewed. Not fresh enough. I've always used Aida Gabilondo's recipe or similar variations, which call for pickled jalapenos and browned vegetables and such.

When I found Paul Johnson's recipe yesterday, I was really excited. It's more like a pico de gallo that you dump on the fish and cook all at once. No browning onions or garlic.

Here's my slight variation:

Marinate fish for 30 minutes in salt and juice of 1/2 lime.

Dice and mix:
  • small white onion
  • 1 T garlic
  • 1 pound tomatoes, fresh or canned or both (those Pomi tomatoes always taste less cooked to me. I like them.)
  • several fresh chiles, minced. I used two red Anaheims, a dedo di moca and a Tabasco. Any combo would work. If all you have are super-hot chiles, supplement with some bell pepper.
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 2 T capers
  • 12 or more green olives
  • the other 1/2 lime
  • salt to taste
Toast in a dry pan, crush in mortar and add to mixture:
  • 10-15 coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
Heat oven to 375. Heat pan in oven if it's a stoneware style Dutch oven. Put fish in pan. Dump mixture over fish. cover. Cook for 20-30 minutes, or until slightly steaming and bubbling. Let rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro. Serve over rice.

It was amazing.


Kris said...

I made this tonight! It really is lighter and fresher, not to mention easier. Thank you.

Kris said...

I made this again last night, and I'll never go back to the old style of sauce cooked separately.