Triggerfish holds a special place in my culinary heart. I have written about it (in recipes) both here and here. Superbly tasty, it comes off almost delicate but, stands up nicely to cooking rigors in the kitchen.
For this outing we are working with a Spanish inspired Mexican seafood favorite. Pescado Veracruz. Our fish is Triggerfish and the treatment here is mostly true to the more traditional interpretations with just a few small hacks.
Most traditional Veracruz sauces include capers…. no capers for us! Almost none of those sauces employ tomatillos. This one most certainly does. And, just to be a little cheeky we are adding cinnamon to perk the dish up just a little.
There is a fair bit of slicing and dicing with the dish. You will want to get it all done in advance.
Triggerfish Veracruz Ingredients
- Triggerfish: 1Lb
- Garlic: 5 Cloves, Chopped Rough
- Red Bell Pepper: 1/2, Chopped Rough
- Orange Bell Pepper: 1/2, Chopped Rough
- Jalapeno: 2-3, Julienned Then Cut In Thirds
- Onion: 1/4, Chopped Rough
- Tomato: 2, Chopped Rough
- Tomatillo: 2-3, Sliced In Half
- Olives: 20-30 Green, Pitted
- Oregano: 1 Tsp
- Cinnamon: 1/2 Tsp
- Chicken Stock: 3/4 Cup
- Salt: To Taste
- Pepper: To Taste
- Cilantro: 3 Tbsp Chopped
- Olive Oil: 3 Tbsp Divided
- Butter: 1 Tbsp
- Sugar: Pinch
Our version of this mexican tradition starts with Jalapenos. Heat 1 Tbsp. of oil in a skillet on medium-medium high. Add peppers, moving them around the pan with vigor, and bring to a char. (2-4 minutes or until the smoke alarm goes off)
Add in the onion and bell peppers. Cook, stirring the entire mix for 2-3 minutes. Add in the olives and garlic. Cook the mixture for 1 minute more stirring as you go.
Add the tomato, tomatillos (face down works well), oregano, cinnamon and the chicken stock. Cook, stirring as needed for 20 minutes until the tomatillos and tomato have cooked into the stock forming a thickened sauce. at 20 minutes reduce heat to low, remove the tomatillo skins, add the cilantro and stir in a pinch or two of sugar as desired.
While the sauce is cooking, rinse and pat dry (very dry) your fish. Salt and pepper as desired.
In another skillet heat the butter and remaining olive oil at medium. When the skillet comes to temperature (preferably sometime close to when the sauce has been put on low heat) start to cook the fish. you want to sear the fish (getting it real dry helps with this) but not overcook it. 2 minutes on the first side should be about right.
Flip the fish, add in the sauce and let the whole thing cook another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and plate.
In our home if you dawdle, getting to the table when this meal is up, you risk getting skimpy portions or in extreme cases getting none at all:)
Bon appetit and tight lines.