Fish Veracruz Style

Course : Fish
Serves: 6
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1 tablespoon oil
4 cloves garlic -- chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 pounds peeled tomatoes -- finely chopped
1 medium green bell pepper -- cut into strips
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper -- freshly ground
2 pieces bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup chopped green olives
1/4 cup capers
6 fillets sea bass - -- (about 4 oz each) (or other firm-fleshed fish)
2 tablespoons butter
6 medium canned chiles -- gueros or -- jalapenos, for garnish

Preparation / Directions:

Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the garlic and onion and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add the bell pepper and stir for 2 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, bay leaves, and oregano. When the mixture returns to a boil, cover and cook over low heat for 8 minutes. Add the olives and capers and cook another 5 minutes. Correct the seasonings and remove from the heat. Twenty minutes before serving, preheat the oven to 375F Rinse the fillets, pat dry, and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Melt the butter in a large skillet, add the fillets and brown lightly on both sides. Transfer to a greased baking dish and cover with the sauce. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Garnish each fillet with a chile before serving. Note: You can use a whole fish if you prefer, but you will need to increase the baking time. Comments: This famous dish combines chiles and tomatoes from the New World with the very Spanish addition of capers and olives. It is traditionally served with a scoop of white rice.

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