• Yield: 4 servings

  • Time: 15 minutes prep, 20 minutes cooking, 35 minutes total

In the Mexican state of Veracruz, a local recipe calls for simmering fish in a rich sauce of garlic, tomatoes, capers, green olives, and chiles. This version uses grouper, but any firm white-fleshed fish will do.


  • 4 grouper fillets or steaks, each about 5 ounces (155 g) and about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 1-1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3 tomatoes, peeled and seeded, then diced (see note below)

  • 5 large pimiento-stuffed green olives, sliced

  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed

  • 1 jalapeño chile, seeded and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) julienne

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice


1. Sprinkle the grouper steaks on both sides with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. In a large, nonstick frying pan, heat 1-1/2 teaspoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the fish to the pan and sear on both sides until lightly browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.

2. Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan. Add the onion and sauté until soft and lightly golden, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until softened, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, olives, capers, and jalapeño and simmer for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Return the fish to the pan, cover, and simmer until the fish is opaque throughout when tested with the tip of a knife, 6-8 minutes.

3. Transfer the grouper steaks to warmed individual plates. Stir the lime juice into the vegetables and pan juices and spoon some sauce over each steak. Serve immediately.

Note: For testing, we used one carton of grape tomatoes, halved, or about 2 cups.

From The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook: Eating Well for Better Health, Second Edition (Time Home Entertainment, 2012). Copyright © 2012 Time Home Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved.