Fish Fillets In Hoja Santa also called Acuyo with Fried Plantains:
Preheat oven to 325°F
Serves 6 (see notes below)
- 6 fish fillets of about 7 or 8 oz each preferably mahi mahi, snapper, halibut or any white flaky fish
- One and a half cups of fresh mint
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
- One red bell pepper sliced (you can use yellow or orange for color effects if you prefer)
- 6 hoja santa leaves (see notes below)
- Banana leaves for wrapping the fillets
- 2 large ripe plantains peeled and sliced to about 1/3 inch thick
- Vegetable oil for frying
Dust fish fillets with salt and pepper,set aside. In a blender pour the mint, the olive oil, garlic cloves, some salt and pepper and about 2 or 3 tbsp water. Mix very well and pour this mixture over the fish fillets covering completely with the sauce on both sides, lets stand for about 20 minutes, you can flip them from time to time.
Spread some olive oil on a lage baking dish, carefully arrange some bell pepper slices on top of every fish fillet, wrap every fish fillet in one of the HOJA SANTA leaves pouring some of the mint sauce on the fish fillets, then carefully wrap the fish fillet with the banana leaf. You will have to cut the banana leaf to make it wrap the fish fillet, no need to use one whole leaf for every fillet just enough to wrap it, so a large banana leaf might yield for about 4 fillets. Arrange the fish fillets nicely in the baking dish, cover with foil and bake in a preheated oven for about 15 minutes, then remove foil and bake for about 3 to 5 minutes longer or until the fillets are cooked through this will depend on the thickness of the fillets.
In a frying pan heat the vegetable oil, fry the plantains in batches, set aside in a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb excess oil. Serve on a platter with the banana leaves open, do NOT eat the banana leaves, these are just for flavoring the fish while cooking. Serve the fried plantains on the side. ENJOY!
NOTES: Hoja Santa or Acuyo is a very traditional Mexian spice used mostly in Central and South Mexico cuisine its Latin name is: PIPER AURITUM it is used in stews, soups, sauces, moles, meat dishes, fish, chicken dishes etc and it also has lots of medicinal properties therefore it is also used in Mexican traditional medicine. Hoja Santa means "holy leaf"
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