02/08/2013

Basa Veracruz

Basa VeracruzFriday night! We made it!

Time to kick back with some simple, tasty and good food ...

Veracruz is in Mexico. Veracruz Sauce is from Veracruz. Veracruz is on the coast. Veracruz Sauce works perfectly over fish ... any fish.

Here, Basa ... there Basa, everywhere a Basa Basa?

Where was I? Oh yes, fish ... use any fish you like. Veracruz is a simple sauce, easily made up and in no way supposed to be high-brow, complicated or flounced up. This is simple eating.

I began with some lard. I am in no way a connoisseur of Mexican food, but I read ... I had read that Mexicans love lard, so that's where I started.

Some finely chopped onions went in - white and red, just white, just red, your choice. I had a white onion, so that's what I used. When sweating onions, I like to add just a little sea salt, which I think brings out the liquid in the onion and enhances the natural sweetness.

Give them a few minutes before introducing them to some garlic, ginger and chillies. Some, a little, a lot, your choice.

Now, pour over some chopped tomatoes.

Add some herbs. I went wild and used oregano, marjoram and thyme. I went even more wild and dropped in a dried Scotch Bonnet (forgetting I'd already added chillies). Not knowing a whole heap about Mexican food, I guess a chipotle would have been better, which I do have in, but I love the taste of Scotch Bonnet.

Mexican oregano is very different to our oregano. I don't even think it's the same herb, even, and have garnered that it is more like our marjoram in scent and flavour. Thyme accompanies the Scotch Bonnet perfectly and gives that Caribbean flava. I got lost ... we'll call it fusion.

Drop in some olives and some capers.

... and that's Veracruz Sauce.

Let it simmer and reduce, combining all those flavours ... which you can enhance with some Salsa Anglais (Worcestershire Sauce) if you like. Apparently, Mexicans go loco for the stuff and why not? It's gorgeous!

Sauce ready?

Steam some fish or pan fry it. Either, any method ... just cook some fish through. Actually, ceviche is gorgeous with this sauce. I went with lightly pan-fried basa in lard.

Fish down, sauce over ... garnish with something or other, like scallions (spring onions) or chives.

I served this with a marinated mushroom and pepper salad.

Marinated Mushroom & Pepper Salad

Ahead of time, simply chop some mushrooms, green and red peppers, a red onion and some chilli.

Mix well and slosh over cider vinegar.

Add black pepper, a little sea salt and some chopped dill.

Turn frequently, but do allow the marinade to do its thing for about an hour.

Pour off the juices and serve out with fresh dill.

... there you go. Bonus recipe. Enjoy.

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