Every cook in Veracruz makes a version of this piquant fish dish, and it's often a vehicle for using up the leftovers from a large grilled fish. Some people also turn the hash into a filling for empanadas. This imaginatively seasoned version is Zarela Martinez&339;s favorite. It comes from Tomasa Meléndez Hernández, the guiding light of Las Brisas del Mar, a restaurant in Boca del Río, just south of the port of Veracruz. The olives, parsley, thyme and other Mediterranean seasonings reveal the strong Spanish influences in Veracruz's cuisine.
Amazing Seafood Recipes
2 quarts water
4 unpeeled garlic cloves
1 small unpeeled white onion, left whole, plus 1 large white onion, finely chopped
6 bay leaves
2 pounds firm-fleshed white fish fillets, such as tilefish, red snapper or grouper, cut into 4-inch chunks
In a large saucepan, combine the water with the garlic cloves, whole small white onion, 2 of the bay leaves and 1 teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil; simmer for 10 minutes. Add the fish in a single layer and simmer over moderate heat until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the fish to a platter to cool. Break the fish into large pieces, discarding any bones and skin.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and vegetable oil until shimmering. Add the chopped white onion and cook over high heat, stirring, until just beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, parsley, mint, thyme and the remaining 4 bay leaves and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until a thick sauce forms, about 8 minutes. Stir in the olives, pickled jalapeños and Garlic">http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/garlic-seasoning-ajo-preparado">Garlic Seasoning (Ajo Preparado). Add the fish and cook until warmed through and all of the liquid has been absorbed, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and season the hash with salt. Transfer to a bowl and serve.
The hash can be refrigerated overnight and reheated gently.
Poached fish says white wine, and the onions, garlic, olives, herbs and chiles clinch it for herby, olive-y California Sauvignon Blancs.
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