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It’s Lent. There’s a lot of traditional food during this time. Tacos de Pescado, Caldo de Camarón, Pescado a la Veracruzana, Capirotada etc. etc. Mind you, the Hubs is not Catholic (He reports “Ashless Wednesdays” instead of “Meatless Mondays”), and I don’t really go to church very often. But, I love my Mexican culture and our traditions. Food is one of the best ways to keep our culture alive. Lent can be tough on my meat-loving husband and son. I have to make food that will make them forget there’s no red meat. My padrino doesn’t even eat chicken during Lent. I’m afraid to buy some “little clucker” and accidentally run into him at the grocery store, or worse, encounter his wife…. And we all know how Mexican women like their chismes (“gossiping”). That’s why I made this Pescado en Salsa de Chiles, or Fish in Mexican Chili Sauce.
You start with the sauce (No I’m not “hitting the sauce.” I’m starting with the sauce). I’m using three different chilis: Dried Ancho, California Chili, and chipotle in adobo sauce. Soak the Ancho and California chili pods in warm water for 20 minutes. Let them cool. In order not to make the sauce too spicy, I’m only using ½ chipotle pepper. Blend this with 1 cup of water. You’ll end up with a thick chili sauce. Don’t forget to taste for salt.
I absolutely LOVE the taste of lime. It adds freshness despite the fact that I’m using frozen fish. Yes, that’s right, my friends. I’m using frozen fish for my Pescado en Salsa de Chiles, or Fish in Mexican Chili Sauce. Somehow, the sauce takes that frozen flavor away. Thank you, Jesus.
The other thing I do to save on time and to make this a more complete meal is that I add frozen veggies like green beans or peas and carrots. The result is a delicious and flavorful dish that your entire family will love. They may even wish that it was Lent every week. 🙂
- 2 cups water (divided)
- 3 dried California chili pods
- 1 dried Ancho chili pod
- ½ chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cod fillets, frozen or fresh
- ¼ onion, finely diced
- 1 garlic, finely minced
- Juice of 1 lime
- Take off the stems and cut lengthwise to remove the ribs and seeds from the California chilis and the Ancho chili pods.
- Add water and chili pods to a stock pot.
- Bring to a boil for 5 minutes.
- Turn heat off and leave the chili in the hot water for 5 more minutes.
- Remove from the pot and let cool.
- Discard the water from the stock pot.
- Add the re-hydrated chilis to a blender along with the chipotle pepper, salt, and 1 cup of water.
- Blend until smooth.
- Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet.
- Season the fish with salt.
- Add fish to the pan.
- Cook 2 minutes on each side.
- Add onion.
- Cook for 1 minute.
- Add chili sauce, garlic, and lime juice.
- Cover and reduce heat to low.
- Cook for 10 minutes.
- Taste for salt.
- Serve with lime wedges and rice.