The herb acuyo is, like black pepper, a member of the genus Piper—its heart-shaped leaves tastes faintly of anise.
Yield: serves 4
- 2 (1-lb.) sea bass or red snapper filets
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 10 acuyo leaves
- 1 fresh jalapeño, seeded
- 1⁄2 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Season fish with salt and pepper. Simmer 1 cup water, peppercorns, bay leaf, thyme, and a pinch of salt in a skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add fish, cover, and cook until fish flakes, about 10 minutes.
- Rinse acuyo leaves. Blanch in a pot of boiling salted water over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, drain, and purée in a blender or food processor with jalapeño, garlic, oil, and 1⁄4 cup water. Warm in a saucepan over low heat; season with salt. Spoon over fish.