Red Snapper à la Veracruzana
As delightful to the eye as to the palate, this presentation of red snapper takes the fish to a new level. Moist, tender and full of flavor, it is just delicious.
2 carrots, cut into 1-in. pieces
4 celery stalks, cut into 1-in. pieces
1 onion, cut into quarters
2 jalapeños, halved
Oil for sautéing, as needed
12 cups black beans, soaked overnight
4 bay leaves
2 sprigs epazote
8 oz. bacon
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
20 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 each red, yellow and green bell peppers, julienned
2 serrano chiles, minced
4 tsp. rice vinegar
2 tsp. lime juice
12 8-oz. red snapper filets, skin scored
2 watermelon radishes or turnips, julienned, sautéed and seasoned
16 oz. mushrooms, sautéed and seasoned
Fennel fronds, for garnish
1. In a large pot over medium heat, sauté carrots, celery, onion and jalapeños in oil until light golden brown. Drain beans and add to the pot, cover with fresh water and simmer until tender. In the last 15 min., add bay leaves and epazote.
2. Drain beans again, reserving liquid and discarding vegetables. In the stockpot over medium heat, fry bacon until crisp. Add half the garlic and cook 1 min. Add beans and mash to desired consistency. Season and reserve.
3. In a saucepan over low heat, reduce bean liquid until desired sauce consistency. Season.
4. In a skillet, sauté onion and remaining garlic in oil until translucent. Add tomatoes and cook 20 min. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Return mixture to the skillet and add peppers, chiles, vinegar and lime juice; simmer 5 min. Season and reserve.
5. Season snapper. In a skillet over medium heat, sauté fish skin-side down in oil 3-4 min. Flip and sauté 3-4 min. until desired doneness.
6. On a plate, center beans, top with a radish and spoon mushrooms around the edge. Center fish on top, skin-side up, with Veracruz sauce. Drizzle with black bean reduction. Garnish with fennel.