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Cocina Mexicana de Abolengo (1952) – Pescado a la Veracruzana / Veracruz-style Fish

November 16, 2012

Cocina Mexicana de Abolengo (1952) by Josefina Velázquez de León

Cocina Mexicana de Abolengo (1952) by Josefina Velázquez de León

Josefina Velázquez de León, Cocina Mexicana de Abolengo (México, D.F.: Academia Cocina y Repostería, Velázquez de León, 1952), 111-112.

The state of Veracruz is located on in eastern Mexico on the Gulf Coast. It is Mexico’s largest producer of cattle and contains significant oil reserves, but perhaps more significantly for its culinary history, it also contains Mexico’s most important commercial port. [1] The original landing spot of Hernán Cortés, Veracruz has long had strong ties to Spain’s settlements in the Caribbean, and thereby to both Europe and Africa. Its cuisine developed in the context of both temperate and tropical imported crops: almonds, grapes, cilantro, limes, chard, cabbage, sugar cane and plantains. [2]

Seafood plays a particularly important part in Veracruzan food, and cookbook author Zarela Martínez calls Huachinango a la Veracruzana (Red Snaper Verracruz Style) “Veracruz’s most celebrated contribution to world cuisine,”[3] while culinary maven Diana Kennedy notes that it is “the best known and favorite Mexican fish dish.”[4]  Its unique mix of olives, capers, and pickled chiles complements the delicate texture of red snapper or any white fish.

During our second Culinary Tour of Mexico event on Tuesday, we prepared a recipe for Pescado a la Veracruzana (Veracruz-style Fish) from Cocina Mexicana de Abolengo (1952) by Mexico City cookbook author and cooking instructor Josefina Velázquez de León.

Pescado a la Veracruzana

  • UTSA Rec Center Student Chef Cassie Prepares Pescado a la Veracruzana

    UTSA Rec Center Student Chef Cassie Prepares Pescado a la Veracruzana

    1 kilo de pescado huachinango o robalo en trozo

  • 750 gramos de jitomate
  • 2 cebollas
  • 3 dientes de ajo
  • 1 raja de canela
  • 2 clavos de especial
  • 3 pimientas gruesas
  • 2 chiles anchos
  • 75 gramos de aceitunas
  • 50 gramos de alcaparras
  • 8 chiles jalapeños en vinagre.
  • Orégano, perejil
  • Sal y pimiento

Manera de Hacerse:

Los jitomates se asan, se muelen con las cebollas, los dientes de ajo, unas hojas de perejil, las especias y los chiles anchos asados, desvenados y remojados; se les agregan las aceitunas picadas, las alcaparras, los chiles jalapeños cortados en tiritas, el jerez, el aceite, el vinagre, sal y pimiento.

En una cazuela extendida, untada de aceite se colocan os trozos de pescado, se pone encima la salsa y se tapa la cazuela; se pone a fuego fuerte durange 20 minutos teniendo cuidado de agitarle seguido para que no se pegue. Se sirve muy caliente.

Veracruz-style Fish

  • Pescado Nutrition Info2 pounds of red snapper or sea bass in pieces (substitute any firm white fish, such as cod or pollock)
  • 1 2/3 pounds tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 onions
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • 3 large peppercorns
  • 2 ancho chiles
  • 28 green olives
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 8 jalapeno chiles in vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sherry (or water)
  • Oregano, parsley
Alternate Method - Baking the Fish

Alternate Method – Baking the Fish

Method of Preparation:

  1. Toast the ancho chiles in a dry skillet, then de-seed and re-hydrate in hot water for 10 minutes.
  2. Roast the tomatoes.  Grind with onions, garlic, parsley leaves, spices, and ancho chiles.
  3. Add chopped olives, capers, jalapeño chiles cut into strips, sherry, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
  4. In a large saucepan, heat some oil.  Place pieces of fish in the pan, add the sauce, and cover the pan.
  5. Cook over a medium-high heat for 20 minutes, taking care to stir periodically to avoid sticking.  Serve while very hot.


[1] Don M. Coerver, Suzanne B. Pasztor, and Robert Buffington, 2004, Mexico: An Encyclopedia of Contemporary Culture and History. (ABC-CLIO, 2004. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost)), accessed November 6, 2012.
[2] Zarela Martínez, Anne Mendelson, Zarela’s Veracruz (Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 2001), 3-4.
[3] Ibid., 182.
[4] Diana Kennedy, The Essential Cuisines of Mexico (New York: Clarkson Potter, 2000), 368.

Pescado a la Veracruzana

Pescado a la Veracruzana

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