Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Robalo Zarandeado

Meet Mr. Snook. In spanish, Robalo.  He's a very unhappy looking fellow, isn't he?  Actually, maybe he's a she, or was.  They can change sexes at will.  Or, rather, as needed. ... Wow. 
Well, as I was about to say, snook are very, very fine eating.     
Now, as a New Mexican west Texas land-lubber, I don't know jack about fish, but I do know where to get the best Robalo ZarandeadoCuchupeta's in Villa Union, a pueblo 12km south of Mazatlan is famous for it's "Mariscos," or seafood.  Mario, the fish-monger in the town market of Villa Union, was happy to fill me in on how to prepare it "a las Cuchupetas".  This is a perfect Mexican beach meal, and you can prepare it on a grill or broil it.  Note: If you grill it you must cover with foil and flip it, cooking both sides.
So, what you need to do is find your way down to Mexico and get yourself a snook.  However, if you just can't get to Mazatlan,  you could make this dish with any whole edible fish.  The fish only needs to be gutted and butterflied.  Also, you will need a tomato, a bell pepper, a serrano chile, an onion, a lime, mayonaise and mustard.
Mario scaled, gutted and butterflied a snook for me, then he cut slices across the meat, skin side down.
First put the fish on a broiler pan or other large pan covered with aluminum foil.

 Sprinkle the fish with salt and soy sauce.

Then mix a cup of mayonaise with a teaspoon of mustard and the juice of a lime.

Paint the mayo mixture liberally over the fish flesh, and put it on the fins and tail because it makes it pretty when cooked.
Cut the vegetables in thin slices, and pile them on the fish.

Put all the remaining mayo in a big glop on the vegetables.
Slide it under the broiler for about 30 minutes.  When you take it out of the oven, check for done-ness.

Serve with hot corn tortillas, salsa and lime, and watch for bones!
Then, enjoy the spectacular sunset over the Pacific.

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