Veracruz Style Fish - “Pescado Veracruzano”
Recipe by Shannon Bard, Executive Chef of Zapoteca in Portland, ME a top Mexican restaurant
4-6 oz whitefish fillets, (i.e. Cod, Red Snapper or Halibut)
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup lime juice, preferably fresh squeezed
¼ cup olive oil
1 small white onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 Tomatoes on the Vine, diced
2 cups green manzanilla olives, halved
2 teaspoon spanish capers
2 teaspoon black raisins
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh oregano
¼ cup pickled jalapenos (jalapenos en escebeche or store bought)
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
2 Beefsteak Tomatoes, sliced (optional garnish)
Lightly pat the fish fillets dry with a paper towel and evenly season with 1 teaspoon of salt. Place the fillets into a glass baking dish and cover with the fresh squeazed lime juice. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Meanwhile, heat ¼ cup of olive oil in a large sauce pan or dutch oven over medium-high heat until the oil is very hot and begins to shimmer. Stir in the onion slices and cook for 3-5 minutes until the onions begin to soften. Add the garlic to the pan and continue to cook the mixture for another minute and the garlic begins to cook. Stir in the tomatoes and cook the mixture for an additional 10 minutes until the tomatoes begin to soften and release their juices.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the olives, capers, raisins, bay leaves, thyme, oregano and pickled jalapenos to the pan. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
Remove the fish from the marinade and gently nestle on top of the sauce. Cover and cook for 4 minutes. Gently flip the fish and cook the other side for an additional 4 minutes until the fish is opaque and begins to flake. Remove the bay leaves, oregano and thyme sprigs. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro, taste and season with additional salt if desired and serve. Optional garnish – 12 slices of grilled tomato.