Veracruz-Style Grilled Fish (Pescado Veracruzano)

Nothing says summertime more than whole fish on the grill, accompanied by some fresh veggies, salsas, and various ecoutrements.  If you can manage to get a pretty backdrop of the ocean, some cold adult beverages and a beautiful sunset, I’d say you’ve got life figured out my friend.  The tomato-based sauce for this fish is herbaceous from the oregano, parsley and cilantro, briny from the olives and spicy from the jalapeños rendering it the perfect sauce for fish, chicken or grilled veggies.  I usually serve this with some Spanish rice, a big green salad and of course, Margaritas, vino and cerveza.

Serves 4


For the Fish Marinade:

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 sprig fresh oregano, leaves only minced

2 sprig parsley, leaves only minced

Juice of 1 lime

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Salt, to taste

Black pepper, to taste

2 whole snapper (1 ½ – 2 lbs.), scaled and gutted

For the Veracruz Sauce:

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 jalapeno, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 large tomatoes, chopped

Juice of ½  lime

1 sprig oregano, leaves chopped

1 sprig parsley, leaves chopped

1 bay leaf

¼ cup green olives, such as manzanillas, pitted and chopped

1 tbsp capers

Black pepper, to taste

¼ bunch cilantro, chopped


For the Garnish:

1 lime, cut into wedges

Corn tortillas


Heat up a grill to medium heat.

Score the fish 2-3 times on each side, down to the bone.  Whisk together all the ingredients for the marinade and cover the entire fish, inside and out with it.  Let sit for a minimum of 10 minutes and up to 30 minutes in the refrigerator. While the fish is marinating, start the sauce.

In a saucepan over medium high heat, add the olive oil, onion and jalapeno and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic, tomatoes, lime juice, oregano, parsley, bay leaf, olives and capers.  Season the sauce with black pepper.  Cook until the tomatoes just start to break down, about 10 minutes.

While the sauce is cooking, grill the fish on a well-oiled grill for about 7-8 minutes per side.  Wrap the tortillas in foil and place on the grill for the last few minutes to heat.

When the sauce is done, remove form the heat, adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary and add the cilantro.

Serve the fish whole on a platter, topped with the sauce and garnished with lime wedges and warm corn tortillas.





Cantaloupe Basil Agua Fresca

Job got you down?  It’s summertime and I’m sure there are many places you’d rather be than sitting behind a desk, toiling away for the man, all while you could be downing a refreshing beverage on a beach somewhere.  Or a boat.  Or a park.  I’m sure an alleyway would suffice with this glorious Agua Fresca in your hand.  This recipe is virgin, because you know, the kids.  But I highly suggest throwing in some vodka, gin or tequila, because you know, the kids.


 1 cantaloupe, chopped into large chunks

3 cups water

Juice of 2 limes

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp salt

10-15 basil leaves, chopped


In a blender add the cantaloupe, water, lime juice, honey and salt.  Puree until completely smooth.  Strain through some cheesecloth, making sure to squeeze out all the liquid from the pulp*.  Add the basil and let steep in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Serve this refreshing beverage over ice.  If you’re feeling frisky, you can make a cocktail out of it by just adding your favorite hooch.  Happy summer!

*Note: Save the pulp and chuck it in the freezer. Add it to your morning smoothie- waste not want not!

Strawberry Rhubarb Fool

People from cold climes have many reasons to be jacked up over Springtime; no more long johns, baby birds, mud pies and our tart friend rhubarb.  Growing up in Wisco, it grew wild outside our farmhouse and so we would end up with loads of rhubarb jam for the rest of the year.  I don’t really remember my mom cutting it with strawberries, rather I think she just added a butt load of sugar to sweeten it up.  Here’s my take on the English dessert, fool, which uses cooked fruit or jam as a base to be layered with custard or whipped cream.  It’s so easy Mr. T be yellin’ “I pity the fool that doesn’t make this fool!”

Serves 4


½ lb rhubarb

½ lb strawberries, hulled and quartered

½ cup sugar

Pinch salt

1 small vanilla bean, scraped

Juice of 1 orange

1 cup heavy cream

1 tbsp sugar


Wash the rhubarb and trim away the tough ends.  Cut in half, put in a bowl filled with cold water and soak for 20 minutes.  This will help to retain its color while cooking.

After the rhubarb has soaked, slice it into ½ inch pieces and put into a medium saucepan.  Add the strawberries, sugar, salt, vanilla and orange juice and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium low and cook until the rhubarb is tender, about 7-10 minutes.  Only stir a few times so that you do not break up the rhubarb.  Transfer the mixture to a bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour or until it is thoroughly cool.  This can also be done 1 day ahead of time as well.

Either using a stand mixer or by hand with a whisk, whip the heavy cream and 1 tablespoon sugar until soft peaks form.

To assemble the fools, start by first layering the strawberry rhubarb mixture into the bottom of a glass.  Top with the whipped cream, then another layer of the strawberry rhubarb mix and then a final layer of whipped cream.

"Nice job on the fool, fool!"

“Nice job on the fool, fool!”