Red Snapper Veracruzana
We New Orleanians, as proud as we are about our seafood, sometimes give short shrift to the seafood cookery of other place. Mexico is a good example of this. Mexico has a long coastline and lots of fish–many of them the same ones we catch and eat here. This dish is a Mexican classic, in the style of Veracruz. If red snapper isn’t available, trout, drum, flounder, sheepshead or lemonfish would also be good this way.
- 4 fresh red snapper fillets, 6-8 oz. each
- 2 Tbs. lime juice
- 1/4 cup beer
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 medium-small yellow onions
- 1 ripe red bell peppers
- 1 jalapeno
- 4 medium, nearly-ripe tomatoes, sliced into half-inch dice.
- 1 tsp. fresh oregano leaves, chopped
- 1 cup tomato puree
- 1 Tbs. Tabasco chipotle pepper sauce
- 4 sprigs fresh cilantro, leaves only, chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
1. Marinate the fish fillets in a mixture of the lime juice and beer for two minutes per side. Shake off the excess and season lightly with salt and Creole seasoning.
2. While the fish is marinating, peel the outer layer from the onions. Cut the onions from top to bottom, then slice across as thin as you can. (This will result in onion strings (half-rings). Remove the stem and seeds from the bell pepper and slice into strings about the same size as the onions. Remove the stem and seeds from the jalapeno and chop finely.
3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the onion and bell pepper strings, jalapeno, and tomato dice. Cook until the onions are tender. Add any remaining lime-beer marinade and bring to a boil for a minute.
4. Add the snapper fillets, pushing the vegetables aside so the fish is in contact with the pan. Cook the fish on one side for about two minutes.
5. Turn the fish over. Stir in the oregano, tomato puree, and Tabasco chipotle pepper sauce. Cover the pan and put it into the 400 degree oven for 8-10 minutes, until a fork stuck into the fish center of the fish comes out warm.