Red snapper in the style of veracruz recipe

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The use of Spanish ingredients and techniques is perhaps more strongly retained in the cuisine of the Veracruz region than anywhere else in Mexico. This dish includes the use of olives, capers, and olive oil all ingredients that were not commonly adopted in other regions.

  • Yield: 12 portions (7 ounces/portion)


  • 4 lbs True Gulf Red Snapper Fillets (true red snapper comes from the Gulf of Mexico many other fish that are sold as red snapper have a very different flavor and texture; substitute sea bass fillets if red snapper is unavailable)
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 3 oz Lime Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Serrano Chili, minced
  • 1 oz Olive Oil
  • 1 lb Yellow Onions, sliced thin
  • 1 oz Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Serrano Chili, minced
  • 2 lbs Tomatoes, diced small
  • 4 oz Green Spanish Olives, pitted and cut in half
  • 2 Tbsp Capers, drained
  • ½ tsp Mexican Oregano
  • ½ tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 oz Olive Oil
  • Salt, to taste
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degree F.
  2. Cut the snapper fillets into 12 pieces, approximately 5 oz each. Distribute the salt and lime juice evenly among the fillets, rubbing them in to help penetrate the flesh; cover and set in the refrigerator while you work on the sauce.
  3. In a sauté pan large enough to hold all of the ingredients, heat the olive oil over a medium-low flame. Once hot, add the onions and garlic; sweat until they become translucent and very tender.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients (except the fish, olive oil, or salt) to the pan, and turn the heat up to bring the mixture to a simmer.
  5. Simmer the vegetable mixture for 15 minutes and then add the fish pieces to the pan, making sure to coat each of the pieces with the sauce. Place the pan in the preheated oven.
  6. Bake the fish for 10 minutes and then remove; carefully turn the fish over in the pan, using a spatula, again making sure to coat each piece with the sauce. Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes.
  7. Remove the pan from the oven and check to see if the fish is flaking. If it is, proceed to the next step; if it is not, return the fish to the oven until it just begins to flake.
  8. Remove the fish fillets from the pan, and place them in a container while the sauce is finishing.
  9. Add the olive oil to the sauce, and check the sauce’s seasoning. Pour the sauce over the snapper and serve immediately

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