Last year, I spent a month in Mexico while researching my upcoming novel, Groundswell. I absolutely fell in LOVE with the cuisine and discovered that it’s not just tacos and loads of melted cheese (not that I don’t love tacos and melted cheese). Mexican food can be light and fresh, like this recipe for Snapper Veracruzana, fish cooked in a spicy tomato sauce with capers and olives. Serve it over rice, a side of guacamole, and pink grapefruit margaritas, and you’ve got yourself a healthy and delicious Cinco de Mayo feast.
- 1∕4 cup olive oil
- 2 large yellow onions, finely chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 jalapeños, seeded and minced
- 1∕2 cup dry white wine
- One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juices
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1∕4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons drained capers
- 1 cup large green olives, pits removed and coarsely chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Eight 4-ounce red snapper fillets
- Cilantro sprigs and lime wedges, for garnish
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the onions, garlic, and jalapeños.
- Sauté until the onions are soft, about 10 minutes.
- Add the white wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Stir in tomatoes, sugar, parsley, capers, olives, bay leaves, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Season each side of the fish with salt and pepper.
- Place each fillet on the sauce and use a spoon to cover the fish with sauce.
- Cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until the fish is opaque.
- Place the fish on a serving platter and spoon sauce over each fillet.
- Remove the bay leaves.
- Serve garnished with cilantro and lime wedges.
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1/2 to 1 serrano pepper, stemmed (depending on desired spiciness)
- 4 avocados
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tomato, diced
- Tortilla chips, for serving
- In a food processor, pulse garlic and serrano until finely diced.
- Add avocados, lime juice, salt, and pepper and blend until desired consistency.
- Add cilantro and pulse until combined.
- Stir in tomato by hand.
- Serve with tortilla chips.
Pink Grapefruit Margaritas
- 2 limes, cut into wedges
- Kosher salt, in a shallow dish, for rimming the glass
- 1 cup ruby red grapefruit juice (fresh or store-bought)
- 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
- 2 cups triple sec
- 2 cups good-quality silver tequila
- Rub the outside rim of each margarita glass with one of the lime wedges.
- Press the top of each glass in the kosher salt to coat the rim.
- Combine the grapefruit juice, sugar, triple sec, and tequila in a pitcher.
- Stir until the sugar dissolves.
- Serve on the rocks, or blend with ice for frozen.
- Garnish with a lime wedge.