Fish Veracruz – a simple and seriously tasty way to prepare just about any kind of fish!
Any time you see something cooked Veracruz style, that usually means a tomato based sauce with the addition of olives and raisins – flavors that originate in the Veracruz region of Mexico.
Sounds a little odd but you get that whole sweet/salty thing going on. Quite delicious.
This is a another great recipe for those of you who are uneasy about cooking fish. It’s very similar to the Halibut Baked in Creole Sauce and the Ridiculously Easy Fish with Tomatoes in that a sauce is made on the stove then poured over the fish which is baked in the oven.
Baking fish takes all the guess work out of it. No need to turn the fish, bread the fish, fuss with the fish…make the easy and tasty sauce and you’re good to go.
Here’s what you need:
Fish fillets, Diced Tomatoes, Onion, Garlic, Raisins, Capers, Green Olives, Parsley, Bay Leaf, Oregano, Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
A little chopping to begin…
Finely chop 1/4 of a large onion (or about 1/2 cup) and 2 cloves of garlic.
Slice or chop 1/4 cup of green olives (I’m using the big ones with the pimentos but any green olives will do). Drain and rinse 2 Tablespoons of capers.
You’ll notice that capers are included in many of the fish dishes I make here at Idiot’s Kitchen. If you haven’t tried capers and fish before, give it a go. Think of them as a teeny tiny little pickled thing. Just a little burst of salty tart flavor.
Heat 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. Sauté the chopped onion until soft and tender but not browned, about 5 minutes.
Add 1 (14 oz) can of diced tomatoes. I like the fire roasted variety for the little extra char and flavor.
Add your chopped olives, garlic, and capers. Add 1/4 cup of raisins (I like golden raisins in this recipe) and stir to combine.
The raisins are really the secret ingredient in this recipe.
I was surprised by how much I liked the raisins. I was REALLY surprised by how much Jim liked the raisins (he mentioned them specifically) since he doesn’t even like them in oatmeal cookies. Weirdo.
Season the sauce with 1 bay leaf, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, and salt & pepper to taste. Since the capers and olives are salty enough for me, I don’t add extra salt to this recipe.
Cook the sauce, uncovered over medium heat until it thickens – about 10-15 minutes. You want to cook quite a bit of the liquid out of the tomatoes.
Once the sauce is nice and thick, add 1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley.
Place boneless, skinless fish fillets in a baking dish and season lightly with salt & pepper. I have corvina pictured here but any light, flaky fish like Red Snapper, Halibut, Cod, Swai, or Tilapia will work. If you are using very thin fillets like Swai or Tilapia, you will need to reduce the cooking time.
I plan on between 1/3 and 1/2 pound of fish per person.
This is a very easy dish to increase for more people. In all honesty, this will make enough sauce for 3-4 servings but I LOVE the sauce so I like a lot of it.
Pour the Veracruz sauce over the fish and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes for thick fish or 15 minutes for thin.
The cooked fish will be firm but will flake easily with a fork.
Serve with a little extra parsley as a garnish. You could also serve with a lime wedge for a little extra zip!
I completed my meal with some sautéed zucchini and couscous – both very quick and easy to make while the fish is baking.
Start to finish, you can have this on the table in about 45 minutes. Perfect for a really nice (and healthy) weeknight dinner or even for a dinner party since you don’t have to be chained to the stove.
My violinist friend Derry (who has suggested many recipes for this site) has been suggesting Fish Veracruz to me for ages and now I know why!
This one is definitely a keeper.
Here’s the recipe: Adapted from Epicurious