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HEIRLOOM

FRIDA KAHLO'S FISH VERACRUZ

Serves: 4 – 6
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 45 mins

Frida Kahlo was born in 1907 with only one eyebrow. Years later, Frida changed her year of birth to 1910. This wasn't due to vanity, or a complicated dare from a friend. Kahlo was a revolutionary and the ultimate patriot, and declared the year of the Mexican Revolution her official date of birth.

Frida celebrated her vibrant, beloved homeland in everything she wore, painted, and cooked. Here we journey to Frida's kitchen to try a traditional Mexican recipe bursting with flavour and colour, Fish Veracruz.

Frida would make this dish using a whole snapper, but for ease we have made this using fresh boneless fillets.

Veracruz sauce is a famous sauce from Mexico that features fresh tomatoes, good quality capers and olives, oregano and bay leaves. Chipotle powder is available in most supermarkets and is delicious. It’s made of ground up smoked chipotle peppers and is quite mild. So, if you want your sauce spicier, use more fresh hot chilli or jalapeño.

INGREDIENTS

650g firm white fish (Hapuka is perfect)
4 T white flour (optional)
⅓ c olive oil
1 red onion, sliced finely
1 bulb garlic, sliced or minced
2 bay leaves
1 fresh red chilli, sliced OR 1 t jalapeño, chopped
1 red pepper, sliced
2 t dried oregano
2 t chipotle powder
1 t smoked paprika
450g fresh tomatoes or 650g tinned tomatoes
125ml wine or water or fish stock
3 T capers
200g olives, sliced roughly
1 t salt, more or less depending on taste
2 fresh limes, halved

TO SERVE

Fresh black pepper
Fresh Coriander

METHOD

This dish can be made two ways. Either you dust thick fillets of fish with flour and briefly sear in a hot pan before making the sauce. Or if you are using a delicate fish like snapper skip this step and lightly poach the uncooked fish in the sauce just before serving.

For thick firm white fish dust the fillets with flour and set aside as you heat your Legacy Pan to smoking hot.

Swiftly fry whole fish fillets on each side till brown but definitely not cooked through. (if your fish is huge, cut into portions that fit the pan)

Gently remove fish from pan to plate. Don’t clean the pan.

To the pan add onions, garlic, chilli and bay leaves (and oil if you have skipped the above step). Gently sauté till onions are soft.

Turn up the heat and add red pepper, herbs, spices, olives and capers and fry a further minute.

If using fresh tomatoes blend with wine, water or fish stock till it forms a slurry and add to the pan. If using canned tomatoes add these and the wine to pan. Turn down the heat and simmer for 20 – 25 minutes till the sauce is thick and glossy. Taste for seasoning. Do you want it hotter, saltier? Adjust now.

Nestle fish, either fried or not, into the sauce and spoon a little of the sauce over the top. Not too much. You still want to see the fish. Tuck the lime halves into the mix and simmer on the stove top till the fish is cooked through. This might take anything from 5 – 15 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.

To finish scatter with fresh coriander and a big grind of freshly ground pepper.

Serve piping hot to the table with soft tacos, guacamole and a crunchy coleslaw and make sure to squeeze that lightly cooked lime over everything!

Thank you Frida.

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