- 4 fresh or frozen halibut or salmon steaks, 1 inch thick (about 1-1/4 pounds)
- 3 dried ancho or mulato peppers or 2 to 3 tablespoons chili powder (see tip, page xx)
- 1/4 cup tequila or dry red wine
- 1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil or cooking oil
- 2 cups chopped tomato (2 large) or one 14-1/2-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
- Lime slices (optional)
- Fresh oregano sprigs (optional)
- 3 cups hot cooked rice (optional)
1. Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse fish; pat dry. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, for sauce, if using dried peppers, cut open peppers; discard stems and seeds. Place in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand 30 minutes to soften. Drain well. Cut the peppers into small pieces. In a blender or food processor, combine tequila and pepper pieces. Cover and blend or process until nearly smooth. In a medium saucepan, cook onion and garlic in hot oil until tender. Stir in tomato, oregano, salt, and cumin. Add blended tequila mixture and chili powder, if using. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place fish in a greased 2-quart rectangular baking dish. Spoon about 1/2 cup of the sauce over fish (cover remaining sauce and keep warm). Bake fish, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
4. Season fish to taste with salt and ground black pepper. If desired, garnish with lime slices and oregano sprigs and serve with rice. Pass remaining sauce. Makes 4 servings.
Prepare the sauce as directed. Cover and chill for up to 2 days. To serve, place sauce in a covered saucepan and heat over medium heat until hot.