Thursday, February 12, 2009

Seared Redfish Fillets in Veracruz Sauce

Capt. Billy Trimble sent me this recipe to share with Way Upstream community. When I asked him about it's origins he wrote: "I do not follow exact recipes in my cooking. I'm inspired by available ingredients. I rarely adhere to a recipe book or measure any of the ingredients. For this dish you can use any light fish such as snapper, drum, striped bass or flounder. The Veracruz Sauce is a traditional Mexican Gulf Coast sauce (contains onion, garlic, tomatoes, peppers, olives and capers). Using the shrimp carcasses to flavor the stock for the sauce is something I do in most of my cooking and I like to use wine as a base fluid. If you are looking for a reference, one of the best cookbooks for this recipe and many other fish recipes is Gulf Coast Cooking by Virginia Elverson. It's a must have if you enjoy cooking with fresh fish."

Seared Redfish Fillets in Veracruz Sauce

Lightly bread redfish fillets and set aside for at least 30 minutes. Always allow the fish fillets at least a half an hour to rest after you bread them so the flour sets to the fish. Do not coat shrimp.

Breading recipe: 1 cup of flour, liberal amount of coarse ground black pepper, sea salt and cayenne pepper.

Veracruz Sauce

White wine stock: White wine (an inexpensive chardonnay is fine), shrimp hulls and Thai lemon leaves. The stock is cooked separately and can be prepared in advance.

Sauté in light olive oil:

Onion, garlic, tomatoes, jalapeños or serrano peppers, green olives, capers, juice from 2 limes, sea salt, black pepper, a spoonful of chili powder*, rosemary and oregano. After all the ingredients are combined in the sauce bring it to a rapid simmer and let it cook for at least a half hour to break down the tomato. When it has cooked together add back strained white wine stock and simmer for another 30 minutes.

As sauce approaches ready, heat olive oil very hot and sear the redfish fillets until browned on each side. As the fillets are cooking add the cleaned shrimp to Veracruz sauce. Set browned fillets aside to cool a bit as the shrimp cook then plate with liberal amounts of sauce.

Billy's Chili Powder*

Two cups of chili arbol, 6 New Mexico chilies, 4 ancho chilies, 2 chipotle chilies (adjust number of chilies to size and desired taste)

Lightly coat dried chilies with olive oil mist and sauté in a hot skillet for a few minutes to lightly caramelize then set aside to cool. Place in blender and grind to a coarse powder. Makes about a pint of powder.


Use a lot of garlic, a full bulb is normal for this dish.

Aways use fresh ingredients and either jalapeno or serrano peppers are recommended.

Strong olive oil can be used to sauté the veggies giving the sauce a deeper flavor if preferred.

Bay leaf may also be used along with herbs of your choice.

You don’t really need a side with this dish but white rice or crispy french fries can be matched. A crusty bread can also serve to mop up the extra sauce.

For a wine pairing suggestion, the chef recommends a white, Tomero Torrontes 2007, Argentina is his current favorite.

Contribution and photos by Capt. Billy Trimble


Anonymous said...

Damn, that sounds good.

El Pescador said...

I agree DSFlyman. Let me know if you try the recipe out.

Richard C. Harrington said...

We're frozen in and flooded out at the same time, so I'll have to resort to buying fish. I'm gonna try this out this week.

Thanks Capt. B and El Pesc.

pez rojo said...

Just returned from Central Market in Austin with all the ingredients for Valentine dinner for six. I will use fresh red snapper (Mexico) to give it the traditional huachinango veracruzana twist. I will see capt Billy for breakfast tomorrow.

Size Matters said...

There is a restaurant we love in Boynton Beach Florida that serves grouper vera cruz and it is wonderful. I got some flounder (frozen) at the store and I am going to try this recipe with the flounder to see how we like it.

I bet it will be excellent (other than the frozen fish).

El Pescador said...

I built a home in Delray Beach for a customer years ago and lived in Boynton Beach during the construction phase. I have fond memories of the place and the fishing.

Thanks for the comment Christina. Let me know how the recipe turns out.

best bar to watch sports said...

Thank you for another essential article. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a complete way of writing?

Anonymous said...

I have been on Capt. Billy for years to compile his recipes into a cook book. In the meantime we have Way Upstream. Thanks Steve. Pez Rojo