This may or may not be a traditional sauce Vera Cruz.
But this is the sauce that Elizabeth was served on top of fresh grouper. Interestingly enough, it reminds Elizabeth of a sauce her mother used to make (minus the olives) to top pork chops—Mexican or Southern, it is delicious!
Grilled Grouper Smothered with Reuben’s Sauce Vera Cruz
Serving Size – 4 people
Reuben’s Sauce Vera Cruz
3 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of kosher salt
1 medium white onion, sliced in half-moon rings
½ green pepper, cut into strips
4 fresh tomatoes or a 15-ounce can of plum tomatoes, chopped or sliced in large pieces
2 cloves of garlic, grated
¼ teaspoon Habanero chile hot sauce or Green Tabasco
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup briny green olives with or without pits
4 8-ounce grouper fillets or 2, 1-pound fillets, about 2 pounds total
Grilling Method: Indirect/Medium Heat
To make the sauce: Heat olive oil and salt for about 2 minutes. Add onions and green peppers and sauté over high heat until the vegetables are wilted, soft and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and all their liquid. Reduce heat and stir. Add garlic and hot sauce. Stir well and simmer for another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add olives. Cook for 1-2 minutes more or until olives are warmed through. You do not want the tomatoes to be cooked down into a sauce; you want to be able to see their shape. Remove from heat and top each fillet (see below) with the sauce.
Rinse fish and pat dry. Brush lightly all over with olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Lay fish, (skin side down if the skin is still on the fish), directly on the cooking grate. If it is skinned, I suggest using the GrillMat or may sure your grates are extra clean and pre-heated. Cook until fish is opaque but still moist, about 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of fish. It is not necessary to turn during cooking, but if you want grill marks on both sides, turn only once during the cooking time.
Supporting fish with a wide spatula transfer to a platter by sliding the spatula between the fish and the cooking grates. This will be very easy to do if you are using a GrillMat. Serve fish immediately smothered (topped) with Reuben’s Sauce Vera Cruz.