Lots of fish are labeled snapper, but the Food and Drug Administration has decreed that only Lutjanus campechanus can legally be called red snapper. It comes from the southern Atlantic Coast and the Gulf of Mexico, south to the Yucatan Peninsula, making it ideal to mark Cinco de Mayo, the 1862 victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at the Battle of Puebla.
In this Mexican-flavored treatment, the lean, moderately firm fish is smothered in stewed tomatoes, with capers providing extra verve. Can't find Mexican-style stewed tomatoes? Substitute 1 can regular stewed tomatoes with its juices plus 1/4 cup salsa. The capers may be replaced with 1/2 cup any variety pitted, chopped olives.
Serve with yellow rice.
- 1 can (14 ounces) Mexican-style stewed tomatoes with juices
- 1/4 cup capers, drained
- 1 1/2 pounds red snapper fillets
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
In a large ovenproof baking dish, combine the tomatoes and their juices with the capers. Place the fish fillets on top and drizzle with the oil. Bake for 15 minutes. Spoon some of the tomato mixture over the fish and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve hot, spooning the sauce over the fish.
Adapted from "The Six O'Clock Scramble," by Aviva Goldfarb (St. Martin's Press, 2006).
Tested by Marcia Kramer.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.