Friday, June 17, 2016

Baked Fish Veracruz Style

Developed June, 2016. This dish comes together quickly, and turns any mild-flavored fish into a piquant entrée. The ingredients reflect both the influence of native ingredients along with Spanish and Moorish flavors that came to the New World during the Spanish conquest of Mexico. Cortez established Veracruz, now a major port on the Gulf of Mexico, in 1519. Red snapper (huachinango) is traditional but any firm-fleshed, mild fish can be used.
1-1/2 lb fish filets (e.g., red snapper, cod, flounder, tilapia, farmed catfish)

2 T olive oil

1 medium onion, sliced thinly across the grain

1 T minced garlic

1 28-oz can prepared marinara sauce

1/4 c chopped green Spanish olives

2 T raisins

2 T chopped parsley

1 T Mexican oregano

1 t ground cumin

1 large bay leaf

6 large pepperoncini, chopped

2 T brine from pepperoncini

salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 C). Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onions until softened, add the garlic, and when fragrant, stir in the marinara sauce, the olives, raisins, oregano, cumin, bay leaf, and parsley. Bring to a fast simmer, cover, and cook 15 minutes. Stir in four of the chopped pepperoncini, the brine and adjust the seasoning. Add a cup of the sauce to a 9”x13” glass baking dish, position the filets in the dish, season well with salt and pepper, and spoon on the remaining sauce. Bake uncovered for 18 to 20 minutes until bubbling and fish flakes easily. Let stand 10 minutes. Garnish the dish with the remaining pepperoncini, and serve with steamed rice. Serves four.