If you are a seafood lover, then you’re really going to enjoy this mix of flavors that will take you all the way to Veracruz. There is a place in the State of Veracruz where seafood is the everyday fare. This town is called Boca del Rio, Ver. The name means “mouth of the river”, since the city is along the Jamapa River that ends at the Gulf of Mexico. The city has a lot of specialty seafood
restaurants, which are visited by tourists from around the country that are attracted by the fame of its gastronomy. Stuffed Red Snapper Fillet is one of its dishes. Almost every restaurant in town offers it. The ingredients in this dish have a lot of the Spanish influence left by the Spaniards that arrived during the Conquista times.
I thank the Boca del Rio Government for kindly sharing the above pictures, which proudly show the longest Stuffed Fish Fillet of almost 361 feet, according to the Guinness World Records in 2011.
For the Stuffing;
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 cup onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 medium size ripe tomatoes, finely chopped (about 10 oz.)
- 1 bay leave
- 8 oz. crab meat
- 8 oz. small shrimp
- 2 tablespoons pimiento-stuffed green olives, sliced.
- 1 teaspoon small capers, drained
- 4 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped.
- 1 pickled jalapeño pepper, sliced.
- 2 tablespoons pickled carrots, diced.
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- Salt and pepper to season
For the Fish;
- 2 red snapper fish fillets (about 10-12 oz. each)
- 2 tablespoons lime juice, divided
- Salt and pepper to season
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 roasted red pepper cut into stripes, for garnish.
- Springs of fresh parsley and lime wedges, for garnish.
Drain any excess liquid from the stuffing, in order to avoid any leaking during the baking time.
If using frozen seafood, make sure to completely defrost and drain before using.
Fish is very fragile when cooked. For a nice presentation handle carefully while serving.
1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until transparent. Add the garlic keep cooking for about 3 minutes. Stirring frequently.
2. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and bay leave. Reduce heat and cook in low, until liquid is slightly reduced. Stir occasionally. This step will take about 10 minutes.
3.Add chopped shrimp and crab meat and stir. Stir in the green olives, capers, parsley, jalapeño, carrots, wine and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Cook in low heat until liquid has reduced, but make sure you do not overcook the shrimp and crab meat. Taste and adjust seasonings. Set aside and let cool. Add chopped shrimp and crab meat, stir. Stir in the green olives, capers, parsley, jalapeño, carrots, wine and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Cook in low heat until liquid has reduce but make sure you do not overcook the shrimp and crab meat. Taste and adjust seasonings. Set aside and let cool.
4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside. Now, while the stuffing is cooling, prepare the fish fillets.
5. Place the fish fillet in a clean work surface. Insert a paring knife into the thickest part of fish fillet and cut down along the side, carefully working around to open the fillet wide (make sure you do not go through the other side).
6. If the fillet is still too thick, place inside a plastic bag and, using a rolling pin or a meat pounder, very gently press down on the fillet to slightly thin the flesh. This is just in case it’s needed. Otherwise skip this step.
7. Season the fillet with salt and pepper and 1 tablespoon of lime juice.
9. Place the fish rolls on the baking sheet. Mix mayonnaise with remaining tablespoon of lime juice and spread over the fish logs. Use just enough to cover the logs.
10. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until mayonnaise mixture is dark golden.
11. To serve, gently place the fish rolls onto serving plates and decorate them with the roasted pepper strips, lemon wedges and parsley springs.
Do you like fish or other kind of seafood?