Jamaican Style Escovitch of Fish with Pickled Vegetables

Total Time:
55 min
Prep:
40 min
Inactive:
10 min
Cook:
5 min

Yield:
6 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups malt vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning fish
  • 1 tablespoon pickling spice
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper, pierced
  • 6 (6-ounce) firm white fish fillets, such as grouper, tilapia, striped bass, or catfish
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Emeril's Original Essence, recipe follows
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, or more as needed
  • Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
Directions

In a medium nonreactive saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons of the salt, pickling spice, bell peppers, onion, garlic, and Scotch bonnet and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and skim any foam that rises to the top. Simmer vegetables for 2 minutes; remove from heat and set aside until warm before serving. (Pickled vegetables may be made up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated in a nonreactive container until ready to serve. May be served warm or cold.)

When you are ready to cook the fish, place the fillets on a nonreactive plate or platter and squeeze the lime juice over the fillets. Let sit for several minutes then pat fillets dry. Season well on both sides with salt and freshly ground white pepper. In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, Essence, remaining 2 teaspoons of salt, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, and white pepper and stir to combine. Dredge the fillets in the seasoned flour mixture and shake to release any excess.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan and, when hot, add the fish and cook until golden brown and crispy on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. (This will vary depending on the thickness of the fillets you are using.) Transfer fillets to a platter and spoon some of the pickled vegetables with pickling liquid over the fish. Serve immediately.

Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Yield: 2/3 cup

Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch

Published by William Morrow, 1993.


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