In Bayless' Mexican Everyday, the intro to this recipe reads "This is one of the simplest, tastiest, come-back-to-it-often dishes I know." After reading those words and looking at the gorgeous picture in the book I knew this was one of the first Bayless meals I had to make. When a Top Chef Master speaks I listen.
This recipe is super duper easy. All you have to do is slice up some potatoes and then whip up a quick sauce of fire roasted tomatoes, pickled jalapenos and their juice, and some garlic and cilantro. Pour that sauce over the fish and the sliced potatoes and slide the whole thing right into the oven. If you're looking for something a little faster Bayless says that you can even use a jarred salsa in place of the sauce (I would go with one that had some heat to it). Doesn't get much easier than that!
The end result is a very nicely spiced dish. The jalapeno really comes through. I think this is a light and very pleasant meal that is filling yet healthy. I can see why Rick says this is a "come-back-to-it-often dish".
Jalapeno-Baked Fish with Roasted Tomatoes and Potatoes
Pescado Horneado al Jalapeno
Adapted from Mexican Everday
by Rick Bayless
4 medium (1 pound total) red-skin boiling or Yukon Gold Potatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice (preferably fire-roasted)
1 large garlic clove, peeled and cut in half
1/3 cup (loosely packed) coarsely chopped cilantro, plus extra for garnish
About 1/4 cup sliced canned pickled jalapenos (you can seed and slice whole pickled jalapenos or buy slices)
1 tablespoon jalapeno pickling juice
Four 4- to 5-ounce (1-1-1/4 pounds total) skinless fish fillets (mahimahi, halibut, black cod and striped bass are all good here), preferably 3/4 to 1 inch thick
Note: I used cod
Turn on the oven to 400 degrees. Scoop the sliced potatoes into a microwaveable 8x8 inch baking dish. Drizzle on the oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss to coat, then spread the potatoes in an even layer. Cover with plastic wrap and poke a couple of holes in the top. Microwave on high (100%) until the potatoes are nearly tender, about 4-5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, combine the tomatoes with their juice, garlic, cilantro, jalapenos and pickling juice. Process to a puree, leaving just a little texture.
Lay the fish fillets in a single layer over the potatoes. Pour the tomato mixture evenly over the fish and potatoes.
Slide the baking dish into the oven. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes, until the fish flakes when pressed firmly.
Scoop a portion of the fish-potatoes-sauce onto each dinner plate, sprinkle with cilantro and serve right away.
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