This is a popular dish in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Perfect for a warm-weather buffet, it can be made a day ahead.
- 2½ pounds firm white fish fillets (grouper or snapper are favorites)
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup flour
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Cayenne to taste
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 onions, cut into thin rings
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons drained capers
- 2 tablespoons dry white wine
- 1 to 2 teaspoons hot red pepper flakes
- 2 to 3 heads loose-leaf lettuce
- 3 tomatoes, sliced into wedges
- 3 lemons, sliced into wedges
- Finely minced parsley
Cut the fish into finger-size pieces. Marinate them in the milk for 30 minutes.
Season the flour with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Drain the fish, and dredge the pieces in the flour. Heat ¼ cup olive oil in a skillet, and fry the fish turning it once, until it is golden on both sides. Keep the fish warm.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the skillet, and sauté the garlic and onion until the onion is limp. Add to the skillet the vinegar, capers, wine, and red pepper flakes. Cook over high heat until the liquid is reduced to 6 tablespoons. Pour the sauce over the fish.
We like to serve this dish neither hot nor chilled but at room temperature, so all of the flavors are mellow and well combined. When you are ready to serve, mound the fish on lettuce-lined salad plates and garnish with tomato and lemon wedges. Sprinkle the fish with a drift of finely minced parsley.