When in Rome, do as the Romans do...as they say. Being in another country is such an incredible opportunity to explore new cuisines and how better to learn than from one of Mexico City’s most prominent chef; Enrique Olvera. You might know him from his world famous restaurant, Pujol. For me, while his techniques and recipes are extremely good, it was Olvera’s approach to dining that won me over. These meals are not only extremely indigenous to Mexico, they have been passed down through his family over the course of many years. Olvera believes that dining should be sacred and sought out, shared among friends and family, and a way to pause, reflect, and enjoy the moment.
In my attempt to master Mexico City cuisine, my first priority was to learn from the best. This recipe is straight from his book, “Mi Casa su Casa”, and is a wonderful way to learn what and how to use ingredients that might not be familiar to you, wherever you might be in the world.
Pescado con Verduras
Preparation time: 15 min
Cooking time: 30 min
- 4 large square (about 10 inches) of banana leaf
- 1 skinless sea bass filet* (1 ½ pounds)
- 1 key lime sliced
- 1 lemon sliced
- 3-4 sprigs fresh epazote**
- 3-4 sprigs of fresh cilantro
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
** a local herb that was used for medicinal purposes originally. Epazote is very strong and floral. You can substitute whatever is fresh from your garden or market i.e parsley, tarragon, marjoram.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Hold the banana leaf above an open flame for about a minute, they should start to turn a bright green (be careful to not burn or dry them out).
Portion the bass into 4 pieces and season generously with salt and pepper in the middle of each leaf square. Add slices of key lime, lemon, herbs, and olive oil to top.
Wrap fish like a tamale and bake for 25 minutes, or until tender to touch.
Serve in the wrapper and let your guests unwrap to eat.