Fish “Veracruz” was the first “authentic” Mexican recipe I
ever ate. I had it 30 years ago at the Casa Del Sol in Saranac Lake, NY, where
I worked while enrolled in culinary school.
I remember trying and loving it,
and being very surprised that “this” was actually Mexican food. Besides…olives
on fish? That was some crazy stuff.
Up to that point, the only “Mexican” food I’d ever had was
crispy cafeteria tacos made by completely non-Mexican lunch ladies. So, this
kind of thing was very exciting for me. I’ve forgotten the exact recipe after
all these years of adaptation, but that’s of little consequence as it’s the
kind of dish you make a little different every time anyway.
I like red snapper for this, but any white, flaky fish will
work. By the way, many Veracruz-style fish recipes call for pickled jalapenos,
but I think there’s plenty of acidity in this from the lime and tomatoes, so I
like the fresh pepper a little more.
If you don’t want to do this in individual portions like I
did, you can certainly do it in a regular casserole dish, but you’ll probably
need to give it a few extra minutes. Simply use the same fork-flaking doneness
test as shown in the clip. Flakiness never lies.
This food wish goes out to all of you that asked for
flavorful, foolproof fish recipes. I’m not sure why people get so scared to
cook fish, but if you’re one of them, this is for you. Other than a few minutes
of slicing, this couldn’t be easier. Serve simply with some chips, or over rice
for a more substantial meal. Either way, I hope you give this a try soon.
Ingredients for 2 servings:
2 boneless red snapper filets, about 7 oz each
cayenne, salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon caper brine
1 large jalapeno, sliced, seeded
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup sliced Castelvetrano green olives, or any green
2 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano