Pan-Fried Red Snapper Fillet with Corn Cream Creole Sauce

Anaheim’s are very popular in Southwestern US Cuisine.Also called “New Mexican Chile”. These were developed by Dr. Fabian Garcia in New Mexico about 100 yrs ago who was seeking a chile pepper that was bigger, fleshier, and milder.

They got the name “Anaheim” when a farmer named Emilio Ortega brought these seeds to the Anaheim area in the early 1900’s. This chile can be roasted and peeled and used in recipes or stuffed to make chile rellenos just as the Poblano Chile.

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2 Tbsp. achiote oil
2 Tbsp. onions, finely chopped
3 Tbsp. red and green peppers, finely chopped
1 small tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 sweet chile peppers (Anaheim), finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 sprigs fresh cilantro, plus extra sprigs, for garnish
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
4 cups fresh corn, cut from cobs
1 cup fish stock
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. butter, softened
2 pounds fresh red snapper fillet, cut into 4 pieces
4 Tbsp. olive oil
lightly toasted and crushed coriander seeds, for garnish


In a large saucepan, heat the achiote oil over medium heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, tomato, chile peppers, garlic, cilantro, bay leaf, salt and pepper, and stir-fry for about 4 minutes. Add the corn and fish stock and cook over medium heat for about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool slightly.

Transfer the mixture to a blender and process until smooth on high speed. Pour the sauce through a fine strainer into a saucepan and add the evaporated milk. Warm the sauce over low heat. Dilute the cornstarch with 1 Tbsp. of water and add to the saucepan. Mix well and incorporate the butter into the sauce with a whisk. Taste to adjust the seasoning and cook for about 5 minutes. Keep warm.

Generously season both sides of the fish with salt and pepper. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over high heat. When oil is hot, place the fillets in the skillet, skin side down, and cook for 3 minutes, without turning. Flip onto the other side and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove the fish from the heat and put on a serving platter.

Spoon the warm sauce onto the center of each dinner plate and top with a fish portion. Garnish the dishes with cilantro sprigs and the toasted and crushed coriander seeds.

Recipe courtesy Chef Alfredo N. Ayala, Las Vegas Restaurant.