Fish Fillets en Escovitch

De Arbol (Capsicum Annuum) means tree like in Spanish. The plant has thick, upright, woody stems and the chile itself is narrow, curved and bright red in color. Believed to be closely related to the pequin, the De Arbol is thin fleshed, with tannic, smoky, grassy flavor and searing heat. This chile has a heat range of 7.5 on the heat scale of 1-10. De Arbol Chiles are comparable to a Cayenne Pepper. Scoville heat units 15,000 to 30,000.

Suggested Use:
De Arbol is a hot chile and a staple in Southwest kitchens. Add some heat to your next salsa or Mexican dish. Be adventurous and add them to your next stew or chili along with the other spices. Add some heat to your next salsa or Mexican dish.

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3 3/4 cups water
2 large red onions, thinly sliced
3 medium carrots, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
3 large jalapeno chiles, seeded, sliced
20 whole black peppercorns
3/4 tsp ground mace
3 small bay leaves
1 1/2 small dried red chiles (such as chiles de arbol)
2 3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup white wine vinegar
3 Tbsp olive oil

For the fish:
12 6-oz mahi-mahi fillets (each 1/2-1-inch thick)
6 Tbsp fresh lime juice
All purpose flour
6 Tbsp (about) olive oil
2 Tbsp finely grated lime peel
Sliced pimiento-stuffed olives
Lime wedges


For marinade:
Bring first 11 ingredients to boil in large saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until carrots are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Stir in vinegar and oil. Remove marinade from heat. Season with salt and pepper. Cool to room temperature.

For fish:
Arrange fish on large piece of waxed and sprinkle with lime juice. Let stand 20 minutes.

Place flour in shallow bowl. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Working in batches, coat fish with flour, shaking off excess. Heat 3 Tbsp oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add fish and saute until golden and just opaque in center, adding more oil by tablespoonfuls as needed, about 4 minutes per side. Arrange fish in single layer in 15 x 10 x 2-inch glass dish. Pour marinade over. Let marinate at room temperature at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours.

Sprinkle fish with finely grated lime peel. Garnish with olives and lime wedges and serve.

12 servings.

From Bon Appetit, May 2006.