Two weeks ago, Chris asked for Veracruz-style Fish Tacos. He had had these at a restaurant and they claimed that they were just like the ones sold on the beaches of Veracruz, Mexico.
I looked on-line and what my search brought up was many recipes for Fish Veracruz (a baked whole fish smothered in a salsa of tomatoes, onions, green olives and capers. This could be a problem. Myr doesn’t like capers, and none of the girls think green olives belong in a tomato sauce.
I asked Chris for a more complete description of what he had in mind. He described grilled fish in a tortilla with a fresh salsa, topped off with a lightly pickled red cabbage slaw. For my usual fish tacos I bread the fish and then bake it. This is closer to a Mexican west coast Baja Fish Taco (except that they deep fry the battered fish). In Veracruz, on the east coast of Mexico, they grill the fish with no breading and, maybe, just a few spices.
This sounds much more do-able and like something everyone in the family would enjoy. With some tortillas, the Salsa Fresca and Cal Col Roja en Escabeche for the main dish, you could stop right there and call it a meal. I want to add some black beans and a bit of rice and call it a feast. It is only happenstance, not planning, that this meal falls on Cinco de Mayo.
Karl’s Veracruz-style Fish Tacos
2 lb. red snapper fillet
2 Tbs. corn oil
2+ Tbs. Karl’s Veracruz-style Fish Spice Blend
1 Tbs. ancho chili power
2 tsp. Mexican oregano, rubbed
2. tsp. cumin, ground
1 tsp. Kosher salt
½ tsp. Indian chili power
½ tsp. sugar
15 tortillas (3 per person)
1½ cups Karl’s Salsa Fresca
1 ½ cups Karl’s Cal Col Roja en Escabeche (pickled red cabbage)
1-2 limes, cut in wedges
1. Check for and remove and pin bones from the filets. Pat dry and rub the oil on each side.
2. Mix the ancho chili power, oregano, cumin, Indian chili power, sugar, and salt together and sprinkle it evenly over both sides of the filets. Cover and refrigerate the fish for 30 minutes to 4 hours.
Tip: If you like your fish really spicy, you may double the dry rub quantities.
3. If you are using charcoal briquettes, start the barbecue 50 minutes before serving.
Tip: A barbeque fish basket is a useful item to have for the next step.
4. When the coals are ready, grill the fish on each side for 3-5 minutes (depending on the thickness of the filets).
5. Break the filets into 1to 2 inch pieces and place in a serving bowl.
6. Wrap the tortillas in a paper towel and microwave for one minute.
7. Serve the fish and tortillas with Salsa Fresca, Col Roja en Escabeche and lime wedges on the side.