Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pescado a la Veracruzana (Veracruz style fish)

I made this last night and it was delicious and easy as hell. I had some extra mushrooms and cooked potatoes so I added those and it made it slightly more Italian feeling but great. I just had the leftover sauce on my rice and beans for lunch and it was fantastic day 2, so you could make the sauce ahead and just use it to cook the fish in the next day (for a dinner party or something).

Pescado a la Veracruzana (Veracruz style fish)
4-6 servings

White-fleshed fish fillets -- 2 pounds (I would recommend Barramundi which is a sustainable substitute for snapper)
Limes, juice only -- 2
Salt -- 1 teaspoon
Oil -- 2 tablespoons
Onion, sliced -- 1
Garlic, minced -- 2-3 cloves
Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped -- 3 cups
Stock or water -- 1 cup
Green olives, pitted, chopped -- 1/3 cup (Mixed Spanish olives are a good choice)
Parsley, minced -- 3 tablespoons
Dried oregano -- 2 teaspoons
Chili Powder -- 1 teaspoon
Bay leaf -- 1
Capers rinsed -- 1 tablespoon
Pickled jalapeño peppers sliced into rounds -- 2-3 each
Cinnamon stick (optional) -- 1
Whole cloves (optional) -- 2-3
Salt and pepper -- to taste

Add the fish, lime juice and salt to a large bowl and marinate for 30 minutes to an hour.

While fish is marinating, heat the oil over medium flame in a large pot or skillet. Add the onions and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and continue sautéing for another minute.

Add remaining ingredients except for the fish, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes to meld flavors and reduce the sauce somewhat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add the fish fillets and cover them with some of the sauce. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until fish is cooked through, 8-12 minutes. Serve with rice.

Red snapper is the fish most commonly used for this dish, but any firm white fish fillet will do. In Mexico, the fish is sometimes left whole for this preparation.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

today's pear muffins

i had some pears that were a few days past the perfect eating time, so i decided to make pear muffins today.

this is what i did:

I roasted the pears based on a babycakes roasted apple recipe:

1 pound pears, diced into 1-inch cubes
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/8 cup lemon juice

i preheated the oven to 325 and prepared a cookie sheet by covering it with parchment paper
i mixed the 4 ingredients listed above until the pears were completely coated, then i spread them on the prepared cookie sheet and put it in the middle rack of the oven for 35 minutes. the result was so delicious, i might cook roasted pears or roasted apples as their own end-result someday, rather than as a first step for muffins.

meanwhile, i was missing some of the ingredients for the babycakes muffin recipe, but i did have a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, bean-free muffin mix by "The Cravings Place." i followed the instructions for their muffin mix - enough to make 16 muffins, but i added 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon allspice, 1/8 teaspoon ginger, and 1 tablespoon vanilla, and once the pears were done roasting, added those.

i cooked the muffins according to the muffin mix instructions, and with the addition of the pears, it produced 18 delicious muffins.