Red Snapper with Veracruz style sauce
- 2 garlic cloves plus 6 garlic cloves, chopped, extra
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 1.5 kg red snapper cleaned (see Note)
- 80 ml ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1½ cup chopped white onion
- ½ cup sliced jalapeño seeds removed
- 4 cups diced tomato
- salt to taste
- 6 Mexican bay leaves
- ½ bunch thyme
- ½ cup pickled jalapeños 2 tbsp pickling liquid reserved
- 1 cup green olives 2 tbsp brine reserved
- ½ cup capers drained
- steamed white rice warmed tortillas, to serve
- Blend the 2 whole garlic cloves and the white vinegar until fine.
- Score the snapper with four deep cuts diagonally down each side of the fish.
- Place in a 20 cm x 40 cm non-reactive flameproof baking pan (a fish poacher will also work perfectly).
- Add enough water to the pan to reach a depth of 2 cm, then place over medium heat.
- Cover and cook, undisturbed, for 25 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, remove the lid from the fish tray and check for doneness.
- Add the Mexican bay leaves and the thyme.
- Meanwhile, heat a 30 cm deep saucepan over medium.
- Add the olive oil and onion and cook gently, without colouring, for 5 minutes or until softened.
- Add the extra garlic and continue cooking, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes.
- Add the jalapeño strips and continue cooking for a further 5 minutes or until softened.
- Add the garlic vinegar.
- Stir through, then add the diced tomato and season the mixture with salt.
- Continue cooking for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Pour the tomato mixture over the fish, then add the pickled jalapeños, capers, olives and reserved olive brine.
- Stir gently into the sauce taking care not to break up the fish.
- Continue cooking for a further 10 minutes or until the tomato is softened though.
- To serve, gently lift the fish onto a platter, then spoon the sauce over.
- Serve with steamed white rice and warmed tortillas.
Any white-fleshed fish will work perfectly with this sauce, but cooking times will vary depending on size and thickness of the fish.