• 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.


Make-Ahead Directions

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.

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