Along the Costa Alegre, numerous restaurants serve filets of whatever fish is freshest, stuffed with different combinations of seafood. Shrimp is nearly always used, along with squid or octopus. The almond sauce is a reflection of the Spanish influence on Mexico’s cuisine.
For the sauce:
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 small white onion, chopped
- 1 ancho chile, soaked in hot water until soft, seeded and chopped
- 4 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- ½ cup blanched slivered almonds, lightly toasted
- ½ cup chicken or vegetable broth
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- salt to taste
For the fish:
- 3 tablespoons butter, plus extra for baking filets
- 4 cloves garlic
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 cup chopped raw shrimp
- ½ cup chopped cleaned squid or octopus
- ¼ cup finely chopped green onions
- salt and pepper to taste
- 6 firm white fish filets, such as snapper or grouper, 4-6 ounces each
Heat the oil in a medium size saucepan, add the garlic and onion and cook until the onion begins to soften. Add the chile and tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes render their their juice Add the broth and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool, place in blender with almonds and puree. Add salt to taste, cover and set sauce aside.
Melt the butter in a skillet, add the garlic and cook until it begins to soften. Add the shrimp and squid, and cook until the shrimp is opaque. Add the green onions and continue cooking for another minute. Add salt and pepper to taste. Allow stuffing to cool.
Place ¼ cup of stuffing on each filet and roll up. Place stuffed filets, seam-side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet. Arrange any remaining stuffing around the filets. Brush the tops of the filets with melted butter. Bake, uncovered, at 350º for 20-25 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
Reheat the sauce if necessary. Place a filet on each plate and spoon the sauce on top. (Any remaining stuffing that has been baked with the fish can be arranged on top of filets before adding the sauce.) Serves 6.