Red Snapper Tacos With Tomatillo Salsa
Recipe By: Florence Fabricant New York Times

2 teaspoon cumin seeds
Salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne or to taste
2 clove garlic -- sliced
3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 Whole red snapper -- about 2 1/2 pounds, cleaned
1 to 2 serrano chilies
1 1/2 lbs fresh tomatillos -- husked
1 thick slice red onion
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Juice of 1 lime
10 to 12 soft corn tortillas for tacos
1/2 cup sour cream.

Combine cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, cayenne and garlic in a mortar or small
food processor. Pound or process to a paste. Stir in 1/2 tablespoon oil.
Dry fish. Rub with 1 tablespoon oil. Cut 3 to 4 diagonal slashes on each
side. Use half the spice paste to rub into slashes and cavity of fish. Set
aside 30 minutes to 1 hour. Preheat broiler. Broil chilies, tomatillos and
onion until browned. Remove stems and seeds from chilies, and skin and
cores from tomatillos. Place in food processor with broiled onion,
cilantro and remaining spice paste. Pulse until fairly fine. Add allspice,
remaining olive oil and salt to taste. Set aside.

Turn oven to 500 degrees. Place fish on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake
15 minutes. Turn off oven. Leave fish 10 more minutes or until ready to
serve, up to 45 minutes more. Peel off skin, remove bones and place chunks
of fish on serving platter. Drizzle with juice of lime. Steam tortillas or
microwave them for 1 minute, wrapped in damp paper towels. To serve,
spread a little salsa on tortillas, add pieces of fish, more salsa and
dollop of sour cream. Roll to enclose.

Yield: 4 servings, 6 as an appetizer.

Recipe Notes

Alex Hall, an English guest at our tasting of English and American bitter
ales, told us that the typical partner for a pint of bitters was a pub
lunch: a sandwich of Cheddar or Stilton with pickles on whole-grain bread.
These ingredients make fine partners for the beers because the saltiness
of the cheese, the spice and sourness of the pickles and the earthiness of
the bread all temper bitter flavors. I transported some of the elements to
a Mexican-style dish, roasting a whole red snapper smeared with a salty
spice paste and using the meaty fish to make tacos with corn tortillas and
a tangy, chili-fueled tomatillo salsa. (These tacos are best served fresh,
but can be wrapped in foil and held in a warm oven.) My salsa had plenty
of muscle, so I called on some sour cream to tone it down. Had it not been
pouring when I made this dish, I might have lighted the grill instead of
the broiler and oven. Take your pick.

Time: At least 45 minutes plus at least 30 minutes' resting


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