Pescado en tikin xik (broiled fish seasoned with achiote)

Yield: 6 servings

Measure Ingredient
2 Groupers or red snappers (about 2 1/2 pounds each)

Yield: 6 servings

_One_day_ahead_:

Do not have the scales removed from the fish. Have the heads and tails removed and the fish opened out flat in one piece. Remove the backbone. 1 tablespoon ground achiote (annato) seeds Available in the Latin American food section of most supermarkets and Latin American and Carribean markets. ¼ teaspoon peppercorns 1½ teaspoons salt, or to taste ¼ teaspoon oregano, lightly toasted in a small frying pan ¼ teaspoon hot paprika 3 cloves garlic, peeled ¼ cup Seville orange juice, or mild white vinegar In a blender or food processor, blend all the ingredients together to a smooth paste. Spread the paste over the flesh of the fish and set it aside to season for several hours of every night.

_On_serving_day_:

Brush the seasoned side of the fish with a little olive oil and cook it, seasoned side down, over the charcoal or under the broiler for about 10 minutes.

Turn the fish over and cook it on the skin side for a slightly longer period or until the flesh is _just_ cooked through - about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the fish. Serve the fish hot with fresh tortillas, so that everyone can make his own tacos, with small dishes of the following served separately: Toasted oregano Chopped chiles habaneros or cayennes Sliced avocado Pickled onion rings (does anybody really want this recipe!?) Sliced tomato Sliced Seville oranges

Source: The Cuisines of Mexico, by Diana Kennedy

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