Red Snapper Veracruz is one of the best known seafood dishes from Mexico, but I had never heard about it until I saw it on REMCooks.com. It reminds me of a Mediterranean dish, and clearly shows the Spanish influences in Mexican cooking. After reading Richard’s recipe I googled and found some more recipes. Based on this research I came up with my own version. It won’t surprise you that I used sous-vide to cook the fish. For a good Red Snapper Veracruz you want crispy skin, moist tender fish, and a flavorful sauce that includes the taste of the fish. If you cook the fish in the sauce (which is probably the most common approach) you won’t get the crispy skin and it is easy to overcook the fish. But the fish would add some flavor the sauce. I came up with a solution that gives you the best of both worlds: make a stock out of the head and bones of the snapper, reduce the stock, and add it to the sauce. This gives the sauce a wonderful deep flavor. I cooked the fish fillets sous-vide first and then crisped up the skin in a very hot frying pan. The result was amazingly delicious, and I will definitely make this again.
Something else I’ll make again is arroz blanco. When I looked at recipes for Red Snapper Veracruz, I noticed that it was often served with arroz blanco. That means simply “white rice”, but when I looked into it I found out that arroz blanco is actually a bit more elaborate than simply white rice and that the preparation actually has some elements of risotto. Since I was making fish stock anyway, I used that for the arroz blanco. The result is flavorful rice in which you notice the individual grains with a nice smoothness to them. Also something I’ll definitely make again!
This is a recipe with a lot of ingredients and a lot of steps, and it took me about 90 minutes to prepare it from start to finish. So it is a bit of work, but not very difficult and definitely worth the trouble. This was absolutely delicious. Thanks for the inspiration, Richard!
1 red snapper of about 650 grams (1.5 lbs), filleted with the skin on, head and bones reserved
juice of 1/2 lime
salt and freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated nutmeg
2 Tbsp vegetable oil with a high smoke point (such as coconut oil)
flour for dusting
1/4 lime for garnish, cut into 2 pieces
2 sprigs parsley for garnish
For the sauce
650 grams (1.5 lbs) plum tomatoes
1 bell pepper
1 clove garlic
1-5 fresh jalapeños, depending on how hot you’d like it
1 jalapeño en escabeche, plus 1 Tbsp of the pickling liquid
1/4 cup (50 grams) olives
1 Tbsp minced fresh flat leaf parsley
1/2 Tbsp minced fresh oregano
1 Tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
1 bay leaf
reduced fish stock, from below
2 Tbsp olive oil
For the arroz blanco
130 grams (2/3 cup) rice
juice of 1/4 lime
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro
250 ml fish stock, from below
2 Tbsp olive oil
For the fish stock
head and bones of the snapper
1 stick celery
Rinse the fish fillets under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Season the flesh side with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add a dash of freshly grated nutmeg.
Meanwhile, prepare the fish stock.
- Chop the jalapeño en escabeche;
- Clean the bell pepper and cut into strips;
- Chop the onion;
- Stem and slice the jalapeños;
- Mince the capers;
- Chop the olives;
- Mince the garlic;
- Mince the parsley;
- Mince the oregano.
We enjoyed this with a good glass of chardonnay, a white Burgundy to be more precise. Sauvignon blanc or riesling would also be excellent choices.
The type of kale available in the US and Australia (and probably elsewhere is well) is more suitable for salads than the kale (boerenkool) available here. So I take advantage when I’m in the US or Australia to prepare a kale salad with blue cheese, apple, nuts, and raisins (or simply trail mix).