Chayote, a subtly flavored, pale green fruit, is available in Hispanic or Caribbean markets and specialty produce stores.
Yield: serves 6
- 2 medium waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into sticks
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into sticks
- 2 small chayotes, peeled, pitted, and cut into chunks
- 1⁄4 lb. green beans, trimmed
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
- 2 jalapeño chiles, seeded and minced
- 1 medium white onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 large tomato, diced
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (2-lb.) sea bass or other firm-fleshed ocean fish, cut into 1”-thick steaks, head and tail reserved
- 1⁄2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 limes, halved
- Place potatoes in a pot of cold salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until tender but firm, about 10 minutes. Remove potatoes with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in the same pot, bring 4 cups salted water to a boil. Add carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon, rinse under cold water, drain, and set aside. Add chayotes to boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon, rinse under cold water, drain, and set aside. Add green beans to boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon, rinse under cold water, drain, and set aside.
- Place oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add jalapeños and onions and cook until just softened, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, increase heat to medium, and cook until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, remove from heat, and set aside.
- Place 6 cups water in a large pot. Add fish head and tail, cilantro, and bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
- Remove and discard fish head and tail and bay leaves. Add vegetables, tomato mixture, and fish to pot and simmer over medium heat until fish turns opaque, about 7 minutes. Serve with lime halves.