Here’s one that’s sure to please! “Escoveitch” is a method of cooking where a piece of fish is poached or fried after being marinated in a spicy acidic marinade (usually vinegar or an acidic wine will do). While in Jamaica it’s called “escoveitch” it is also called “escabeche” in Spain and the Spanish-speaking parts of the Carribbean. Depending on how you prepare it, escoveitch fish can be a fresh, light and healthy option for your dinner.
Here’s what you’ll need:
1-2 servings of red snapper (I used King fish because it’s cheaper)
2-3 tbspns vegetable oil
2 large carrots (julienned- which just means cut into thin, medium length slices)
A few sprigs of thyme
A dash of all-spice
2-3 tbspns of white vinegar
1 scotch bonnet pepper
1 tspn salt
1 tspn pepper
1 white onion
1 lime (optional)
If you’re a real cooking stud, you’ll marinate your fish beforehand. Since fish is pretty delicate, I’d say marinating for 2-3hours should do the trick. Place fish into zip-lock bag(s) with vinegar, thyme, all-spice, salt, pepper and diced scotch bonnet. Seal and place in fridge. Do a little dance for a few hours.
1. If you haven’t pre-marinated your fish, get a large pot and do so now.
-Add vinegar, thyme, all-spice, salt, pepper and diced up scotch bonnet. Let sit in the fridge until you’re ready to cook.
-A word on scotch bonnets: Scotch bonnets are (in my opinion) one of cooking’s best kept secrets. They’re these tiny peppers that pack a great punch. (More than jalapenos!).They’ve got kick, so you want to dice these up FINELY so that they blend into the marinade- no one wants to be eating a big piece of scotch bonnet!
2. “Julienne” your carrots.
-I learned how to “julienne” from a Julia Child’s cookbook- and it sounds way more serious than it is (I think it’s because it’s in french). Shave your carrots with a potato peeler so that they are clean all around. Then cut each carrot into slices that are ~1/8inch thick and ~2inches long. That’s it! Then, the next time you’re at a restaurant and you see the word “julienne” on the menu, just smile to yourself. 😉
3. Slice up white onions.
-You want long pieces of onion for this recipe (about as long as your carrots), so the best way to accomplish this is to cut the onion into slices first. Once you have slices of onion, just cut each slice in half so that you effectively have onion rings that have been cut in two.
1. Heat up the vegetable oil on the stove on medium/low heat in a large pan.
2. Once the oil is hot enough to sear (you can test with a piece of fish if you’re not sure), add fish to the pan. The goal is to get a good sear on each side of the fish, so don’t move it in the pan once you put it down. Sear each side until brown (1-2mins or as needed).
3. Lower heat. Add carrots (and a splash more vinegar for fun!) and cover pan. You want the steam to cook and soften the carrots. Give it 4-5mins or as needed.
4. Once the carrots are soft, add in the onions. (Onions cook a lot faster than carrots so that’s why we’re adding them last). Be sure to stir around the onions and carrots so that they soak up the spicy vinegar base. Give another 4-5mins or as needed.
Your fish should be cooked through by now, so you’re ready to serve! I served this dish with side of garlic spinach (recipe to come!) and whole wheat cous cous. I cut a slice of lime for a little extra spice. Was enjoyed by all!
1. Be CAREFUL with scotch bonnet peppers!! I repeat- be CAREFUL! These little peppers can get you if you underestimate them! I don’t use gloves to cut them but you may want to if it’s your first time using them. Remove all seeds/stems before dicing. If you didn’t use gloves for cutting it up, then once you’re done, wash your hands thoroughly. And, obviously, avoid touching your eyes/face when handling!
2. Taste your dish along the way. This may sound obvious, but you should be sure to taste the fish along the way to make sure that it has just the right flavor. If after searing you think the fish has too much acid, then add a dash of water (instead of vinegar) when putting in the carrots to cut the flavor down.
Happy clean eating!