Veracruz, which is situated in the east of Mexico, is a wonderful place to visit, especially for the food. If a visit to Mexico is not on the cards, then you can still make delicious Mexican fish recipes at home, perhaps starting off with the following recipe. Although red snapper is often the fish of choice for this recipe, tilapia works just as well, as would any other firm-fleshed whitefish.
This vibrant-colored dish is healthy and flavorful. It is naturally nutritious and low in fat, yet still regionally authentic. Use ripe fresh tomatoes if you have them, although canned work just fine in this dish. Another change you might wish to make is reducing the amount of chili if you are sensitive to spicy food, or increasing it if you want an extra kick.
This recipe is based on a tomato sauce, and also features oregano and garlic for flavor, as well as a bay leaf. The potatoes make it more filling, although you can omit them and serve this with rice if you prefer. The saltiness from the capers and olives adds to the overall flavor. Close your eyes and take a bite of this tilapia Veracruz recipe – you will think you are in Mexico!
- 4 tilapia filets, 6 oz each
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ cup halved, pitted green olives
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 peeled medium potatoes
- 1 chopped small onion
- 4 minced garlic cloves
- 12 oz canned crushed tomatoes with juice
- 1 deseeded, thinly sliced Anaheim chili
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon oil, for greasing (or some nonstick cooking spray)
- 4 extra bay leaves plus 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Boil the potatoes for 15 minutes or until tender, then slice or chop them.
- Arrange the potato over the bottom of a greased glass baking dish.
- Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a skillet over a medium-high.
- Season the tilapia on both sides with salt and black pepper.
- Sauté them for 2 minutes per side in the skillet, or until they are just cooked through.
- Transfer the fish to the baking dish with the potatoes.
- Heat the remaining oil in the same skillet over a medium-high heat.
- Add the garlic and onion and cook for 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
- Stir in the tomatoes, bay leaf, oregano, and chili, and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Turn the heat down and simmer covered for 6 minutes or until the chilies are soft.
- Uncover the pan, add the capers and olives, and cook for 4 minutes.
- Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the sauce over the tilapia in the baking dish.
- Bake for 5 minutes or until piping hot.
- Remove the dish from the oven and discard the bay leaf before serving.
- Use a wide spatula to remove the fish mixture from the dish, and try not to break up the fish.
- If liked, you can add some more bay leaves as a garnish, and sprinkle cilantro over the dish.
This has to be one of the most appealing Mexican fish dishes ever. Boasting juicy tilapia, a deliciously aromatic tomato sauce, capers, olives, and more, this makes a wonderful dinner. The bay leaf and cilantro garnish is attractive but optional. You can omit them if you choose. Serve this with rice and perhaps some tortillas on the side, for authenticity. If you are looking for a healthy fish recipe, this is a fabulous one to make. Diet recipes can be boring but this one is both healthy and delicious, so you do not have to sacrifice flavor for nutrition.
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