Cod Vera Cruz (see above) adapted from Roberto Santibanez
4 eight-ounce skinless red snapper fillets (or other white-fleshed fish)
2 limes, cut in half
1 tablespoon salt
2 pounds ripe tomatoes (use any kind, as long as they are very red and ripe)
1 large white onion, cut in half and then into very thin slices (about 3 cups)
6 bay leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
12 fresh sprigs thyme
3 pickled jalapeños, stemmed and coarsely chopped or sliced, plus 3 tablespoons pickling juice
12 garlic cloves
1/2 cup pitted small Manzanilla (Spanish) olives
2 tablespoons tiny (nonpareil) capers
3 tablespoons olive oil
1. Put fillets in baking dish. Squeeze juice from one of limes over both sides of fillets, over and under, and season generously with salt. Turn over once or twice in seasoning. Marinate at room temperature 30 minutes, or cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours.
2. Peel tomatoes, either by blanching in boiling water or using peeler. Cut into 3/4-inch slices.
3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Scatter half onions over bottom of 13- by 9-inch baking dish, or another dish in which fillets will fit snugly with a little overlap.
4. Arrange a little less than half tomato slices over onions. (If you plan to present finished dish at table, use smaller, end slices tomato here and save prettier center slices for top.)
5. Top tomato slices with bay leaves, and then scatter half cilantro, thyme sprigs, and chopped jalapeño over that. Season with at least 1 teaspoon salt.
6. Tuck garlic cloves into vegetables around edges of dish. Squeeze juice from remaining lime over vegetables and top with seasoned fillets, spacing evenly but overlapping a little if necessary.
7. Scatter olives and capers over fillets, then add another layer of remaining onions and tomatoes to cover fish. Scatter remaining cilantro, thyme sprigs, and chopped jalapeño over that. Season again with salt, then drizzle olive oil and pickled jalapeño juice over everything.
8. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Casserole can be prepared ahead and refrigerated up to 6 hours. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.
9. Bake casserole 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until juices given off by vegetables are bubbling and fillets are cooked thoroughly 10 to 15 minutes.
10. To serve, scrape vegetables covering fish to sides of dish. Gently lift up fillets and transfer to serving plates. Most likely they will break apart a little; that is fine. Pick out garlic cloves, bay leaves, and thyme sprigs and discard. Mash remaining ingredients coarsely into juices with fork to make chunky sauce. Check for seasoning, and add salt if necessary. Spoon sauce over fillets and scatter some jalapeños over each if you like.
a pastry chef - Far Breton
a baker - English Muffins
There is one thing I certainly DON'T want to be: a statistic - 9.1%.