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Snapper with Tomato, Olives and Capers

Capers for Veracruz sauceRecipe by Roberta L. Duyff, MS, RDN, FAND, CFCS

Inspired by the coastal cuisine of Veracruz, Mexico, this traditional dish deliciously and easily fits heart-healthy seafood into everyday meals. Typically made with red snapper (huachinango in Spanish), any mild finfish is complemented with a spicy and tangy Veracruz sauce, made with tomato, olives, capers, olive oil, oregano and other herbs.   

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds snapper or any mild finfish filets*
Juice from one lime
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1 sliced lime, for garnish
Fresh parsley, for garnish
8 whole wheat tortillas, warmed

Sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
2 to 4 tablespoons sliced, pitted green olives
1 tablespoon chopped, seeded jalapeno pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 2 teaspoons drained capers
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 bay leaf

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Arrange the snapper or other fish in a 12-x-7 1/2-inch ovenproof baking dish. 
  3. Combine the lime juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil and black pepper in a small bowl. Brush the snapper with the lime juice mixture. Cover; marinate in the refrigerator for about 1 hour (no longer than 2 hours).
  4. To make the sauce, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a medium nonstick skillet.  Add the onion; cook and stir until the onion softens and begins to turn translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, olives, jalapeno pepper, garlic, capers, oregano, marjoram and bay leaf.  Cover; simmer for about 5 minutes to blend the flavors.
  5. To bake the snapper, pour the tomato mixture over the marinated snapper, lifting the filets to allow the sauce to flow underneath.
  6. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until the fish becomes flaky. Baste with the sauce during the cooking time.
  7. To serve, remove the bay leaf, and garnish with lime slices and parsley.
  8. Serve with warmed tortillas.

Cooking Notes

  • For other milder finfish, try codfish, flounder, haddock, halibut, or tilapia.
  • Tip:  Use Veracruz-style sauce when preparing chicken breasts, too!

Nutrition Information

Serves 4

Calories: 560; Calories from fat: 140; Total fat: 16g; Saturated fat: 1.5g; Trans fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 65mg; Sodium: 580mg; Total carbohydrate: 55g; Dietary fiber: 7g; Sugars: 7g; Protein: 44g