Wider Horizons

Sometimes, all it takes is a few simple ingredients to create a masterpiece. That is the case with this recipe, which was named after the port city of Veracruz, Mexico. Snapper Veracruz has been called the signature dish of the state of Veracruz, and it combines ingredients and cooking methods from Spain and pre-colonial Mexico. It’s a classic dish that is easy to prepare and so full of flavour.

Chef Doug Overes (Professional Cooking 1987; Distinguished Alumnus 1992) suggests that if you want to enhance the taste even more, you can grill your fish slightly on a lightly oiled barbeque for a few minutes and then set it aside and return it to the pan when indicated in the recipe. This leaves it smoky and delicious. And while he says snapper is available fresh year round in Lethbridge, cooks are welcome to try any other firm, white-fleshed fish. He suggests serving it with a great, fresh rose, herby Sauvignon Blanc or an Italian red.

To sample some of the delicious creations from student chefs at Lethbridge College, including homemade bread, book a table in the Garden Court Dining Room by calling 403-320-3230.


2 tbsp. canola oil
4 boneless, skinless red snapper fillets
1 c. chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (28 fl. oz. or 796 mL) chopped Italian plum tomatoes
2 limes, juice and zest
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 c chopped cilantro
1/3 c sliced, pimento-stuffed green olives
To taste cracked black pepper and salt (if not using the olives)


  1. Heat the oil in a skillet until very hot (or on a grill as Chef Doug suggests).
  2. Add the fish and sauté on both sides for about 1 to 2 minutes until brown. Do not overcook.
  3. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Add the onions and garlic until the onions are softened slightly.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the cilantro and olives, and simmer for 10 minutes to reduce slightly.
  6. Add the olives and cilantro and return the fish to the sauce.
  7. Cook until the fish is rewarmed and cooked through. Season to taste.
  8. Makes two large or four small portions. Enjoy!
Wider Horizons
Recipe by Chef Doug Overes | Photo by Rob Olson
Original Publication Date: