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Playing Salsa Fish Snapper Veracruz


  • 4 7- to 8-ounce red snapper filets
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground green chili powder (New Mexican Chili Powder) or mild to medium red chili powder blend, such as Gebhardt’s
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small red or Spanish onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced or chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican dry oregano
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapeño pepper slices, chopped plus 2 tablespoons juice
  • 1 large fresh bay leaf
  • 2 pints fresh cherry or grape tomatoes or 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped Manzanilla olives (green olives stuffed with pimientos)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons each chopped cilantro and flat-leaf parsley
  • Charred soft corn tortillas, to serve


Serves: 4


Preheat oven to 250°F.
Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper. Mix flour with cumin, coriander, chili powder and sesame seeds, and coat fish on both sides. 

In a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil, 3 turns of the pan.  When oil smokes, add fish and brown 3 minutes on each side, pressing on filets to keep them from curling. Transfer to baking sheet and keep warm in oven.

Add a little more oil to pan, a turn of the pan, then add onions, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme and oregano, and stir a minute or two. Add tomatoes and cover pan until tomatoes burst (if using fresh) or partially cover to simmer canned tomatoes with onions. Stir olives into sauce along with lime juice, cilantro and parsley; adjust seasoning, add fish to sauce then transfer to plates and serve with soft tortillas for wrapping.