Type: MAIN DISH
Suitable for: Red Snapper, Ocean Perch, Black Bass filets, Shrimp.
Origins of the word “escabeche” remain slightly mysterious; while the name may have originally been Arabic, recipes “en escabeche” are found in Spanish, Cuban, and West Indian cooking, with as many varieties as there are good cooks.
“Escabeche” is a pickling sauce or dressing, composed of local vinegars, oils, vegetables, and hot seasonings. Here is a simple recipe that will start you on a creative train of thought. The principles remain the same: cooked seafood (snapper and shrimp are used as examples), marinated overnight or longer in tangy sauce, and served cool or at room temperature to bring out the complex of flavors.
Skillet or heavy-bottomed saucepan
Glass or ceramic mixing bowl
Deep-walled ceramic or glass baking dish (avoid metals)
2 lb. snapper filets, coated with ___________ Fish Fry Mix and fried in olive oil
Or 2 lb. snapper filets, dusted lightly with chili powder or cumin, seared in oil and cooked till just firm.
Or 2 lb. shrimp, cleaned, shelled and simmered in salted water till just done.
1 cup light olive oil, canola, or safflower oil
½ cup white wine-, apple-cider-, or rice-wine vinegar
Option: replace ¼ cup of vinegar with lemon, lime, or tart orange juice
1-2 minced jalapeno pepper, fresh or canned
A few black or white peppercorns
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large sweet onion, peeled and thin-sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and thin-sliced
Option: 1 green, red or yellow pepper, sliced bay leaf or 1 tsp. powdered cumin or 1 tsp. capers
In 2 Tbsp. of oil, cook onions, carrot, other vegetables and seasonings till onion becomes transparent. Combine with vinegar/fruit juice and remaining oil in glass or ceramic mixing bowl. Pour a thin layer into baking dish, cover with fish, layer till you finish with sauce. Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate overnight or longer.
For a group:
Drain, mound seafood and vegetables on serving platter. Serve with crusty bread.
Good plate-companions: Avocado, mango, sweet orange, papaya slices, lemon or lime wedges.