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In chef Rick Bayless's escabeche recipe, tangy fruit vinegar and water replace the richer, heavier flavors of wine and stock.

Martha Stewart Living, June 2001


Recipe Summary



Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • In a large, well-seasoned cast-iron or nonstick skillet, heat 1/2 cup oil over medium-high heat. Pat fish dry. Working in batches if necessary, cook in a single uncrowded layer until brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn, and cook until second side is brown and fish flakes under firm pressure, 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove to a plate, and set aside. Discard oil from pan.

  • Reduce heat to medium, and add remaining tablespoon oil. When hot, add onions, carrots, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent and carrots are almost soft, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine cloves and black pepper in a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder, and process until coarsely ground. Add to vegetables, along with stock, vinegar, bay leaves, thyme, and cinnamon. Cover, and simmer over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Taste; season with salt (about 3/4 teaspoon), and stir in jalapeno strips.

  • To serve warm, lay fillets over simmering escabeche, cover, and gently heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Place one fillet on each of six plates, and spoon some of the escabeche over each one. Garnish with sprigs of thyme. To serve cool, arrange fish on a deep serving platter, and spoon escabeche over. As it cools to room temperature, the fish and vegetables will absorb much of the liquid.