08.05.19

Red Snapper a la Veracruzana

Growing up in Texas, I have really enjoy learning about and eating a lot of Mexican cuisine. Lately, I’ve taken a major liking to Pescado a la Veracruzana at local restaurants because it’s light, yet full of flavor. 

Pescado a la Veracruzana or fish in the style of Veracruz is a simple dish that comes together rather quickly and works with almost any type of fish. It’s a regional specialty from the southeastern Mexican state of Veracruz. A coastal area, Veracruz is known for it’s abundant seafood and a rich culinary history heavily influenced by Spain– which is why the recipe tastes and looks very mediterranean. 

Filled with some of my all time favorite ingredients like capers, olives, garlic and pickled jalapeno, I love how this dish comes together in less than 30 minutes and, while it’s easy to make and it’s light, it’s still good enough to prepare for guests when entertaining. 

You can really make it with any fish you like, but my Central Market in town had the most stunning wild-caught Red Snapper that I just couldn’t resist. Fair warning though, red snapper is pricey– and because the sauce is so good it’s *not necessary* to splurge if you don’t want to. Try tilapia or cod for a more budget friendly version of this recipe!

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Red Snapper a la Veracruzana

Serves: 2 people
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Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins

Ingredients

For the Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup white onion, finely diced
  • 2 cups roma tomatoes, seeds removed and diced small about 3 tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp jarred pickled jalapenoes, very finely diced
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup pimiento stuffed olives, sliced
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped

For the Red Snapper:

  • 2 [6 - 8 ounce] filets of red snapper (or any white, flakey fish)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil

For the Zucchini and Squash:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and sliced thin
  • 1 medium squash, cut in half lengthwise and sliced thin
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges for serving

Instructions

For the Sauce:

  • Heat a skillet with olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion. Cook, stirring, until the onions are tender, about 3 minutes. Add the diced roma tomatoes, jalapeno, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 3 more minutes.
  • Add the canned tomatoes and reduce heat to a low simmer. Stir in the olives, capers, dried oregano, lime juice and parsley. Cover and let cook, simmering, while you prepare the fish.

For the Red Snapper:

  • Season fish with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a non-stick skillet with oil over medium-high heat. When very hot, place fish filets skin side down and press down with the back of a spatula to flatten the filet and the skin is flush with the skillet (it tries to curl). Cook fish, pressing occasionally with the spatula, until the fish is nearly opaque and cooked through, with just a small raw area on the very top, about 6 minutes. Using a sturdy spatula, carefully flip the snapper and continue cooking until the top is cooked through and golden brown, about 3 more minutes. Remove fish from pan and let rest on a wire rack for 2-3 minutes, while the you prepare the zucchini and squash.

For the Zucchini and Squash:

  • Using the same skillet with the heat over medium-high, add one additional tbsp of olive oil. Add the zucchini, squash, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until just tender and golden on the edges, 5 to 6 minutes.
  • To serve, scatter the sauteed squash and zucchini across a platter. Top with the fish and ladle desired amount of the sauce over the fish. Serve with lime wedges. Enjoy!

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