Veracruz is one of the most beautiful states in Mexico (as I mentioned here); it is full of magnificent sceneries and places full of adventure. For those looking to immerse themselves in a unique culinary experience, each region of Veracruz has it’s own gastronomy with something different to offer. When you visit Veracruz, your feast will start in the north with some zacahuil and bocoles, continue to the fried fish and seafood soups from Tuxpan (right in the middle of the state, at the seaside), and after that to the mouth-watering “tamalitos de chanchamito” in Coatzacoalcos, finally ending with the tasty adobada meat from Minatitlan in the south. This is just the tip of the iceberg of all that you can find in Veracruz. The enchiladas from the Huasteca region, the aromatic coffee from Cordoba, the elegant and exquisite mole xiqueño made in Xico, Veracruz – the list goes on and on…
Veracruz is not just the name of the state, but also the name of the main port in the state. Known as the “Heroic Port of Veracruz”, it has so many things to offer to the visitor. Veracruz has beaches, mountains, and some of the most diverse climates. Some of the above photos are courtesy of The Government of The State of Veracruz, you can visit their website to learn more about Veracruz HERE.
- 1 Whole Red Snapper, cleaned and scaled. About 2 to 2/12 pounds in weight.
- 2 tablespoons of lime juice.
- 2 Tablespoon of olive oil
- 1/2 cup of finely chopped, white onion
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped.
- 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes or 1 1/2 pound of tomatoes, finely chopped.
- 1 small bunch of flat parsley, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup).
- 2 fresh branches of thyme
- 2 Bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- 1/2 cup of Pimiento Stuffed Olive, whole or sliced.
- 1 Tablespoon small capers, rinse.
- 1/4 cup raisins (Optional see note bellow)*
- 4 Pickled Jalapenos peppers thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup dry with wine **
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Warm Mexican White Rice to serve.
You can use Red Snapper, Tilapia or Bass filets instead, if you prefer them to the whole fish. It will require less cooking time.
- Not everyone uses raisins, you can decide not to use them.
I am using Pickled Jalapeño peppers since they are easier to find outside Mexico, but if you can find pickled Guero pepper, use them instead.
Again, the white wine is a personal preference in our family, since it enhances the salsa flavor. If you decide not to use it, your salsa will still taste good.
- Season the fish with salt, pepper and lime juice inside and out. Set aside.
In a large ovenproof frying pan, heat the oil in on medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until transparent. Your frying pan has to be big enough to fit the fish. If you do not have a large enough oven-proof frying pan, then have a large baking dish ready to bake the fish there. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes.
Add the crushed tomatoes or chopped tomatoes to the frying pan and cook for about 8 minutes. Add the herbs. Keep cooking for 4 more minutes or until sauce is cooked.
- If using the dry white wine, add it while the tomatoes sauce is cooking.
Before adding the red snapper, add the pickled jalapeños, raisins, olives and capers and cook until the flavors combine, about 4 minutes. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
To bake the fish, add some sauce to the bottom of the baking dish, then place the fish and cover it with the rest of the sauce; bake for about 30 minutes or more. The fish meat should flake when you insert a fork. (If you want to cook it using the stove-top method, place the fish into the frying pan and cover with some of the sauce. Place a lid and simmer until fish is cooked.). The cooking time will depend on the size of the fish.
Serve in a large serving plate covered with the sauce.