Pescado a la Talla

Recipe adapted from Johnny Hernandez, El Machito, San Antonio, TX

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Recipe adapted from Johnny Hernandez, El Machito, San Antonio, TX

Pescado A La Talla
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You don't need a monster grill like the one Johnny Hernandez has at El Machito in San Antonio to make this pescado al la talla. Make it at home today!
Prep Time
20
minutes
Cook Time
6
minutes
Servings
4
servings
Total time: 26 minutes
Ingredients
  • 10 dried Guajillo chiles, seeded, stems removed
  • 1 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • Leaves from 4 thyme sprigs
  • Leaves from 4 oregano sprigs 
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2½ cups water
  • 2 ounces achiote paste
  • Salt
  • Four 6-ounce skin-on red snapper filets
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
Directions
  1. In a large cast iron skillet over low heat, lightly toast the chiles until they are fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer peppers to a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Add the onions to the skillet and increase the heat to medium-high. Sauté for 10 minutes or until the onions have lightly caramelized. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Transfer onions and garlic to the bowl with the peppers.
  3. In a 3-quart sauce pan over medium-high heat, combine the peppers, onions, garlic, thyme, oregano, bay leaf, cloves and water and simmer until the peppers are tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and let cool. Remove and discard bay leaf.
  4. Transfer to a blender, add the achiote paste and pulse until puréed. Season to taste with salt, then strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl, discarding solids.
  5. Season the snapper filets on both sides with salt. Put fish in a medium bowl and add ½ cup of the chile sauce. Toss to coat and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat a charcoal or gas grill to medium-high heat (a 9-inch cast iron skillet can also be used on the stovetop). Grill the fish, skin side down, until charred, about 4 minutes. Gently flip and grill for an additional 2 to 3 minutes on the second side.
  7. Transfer the filets to 4 plates and serve with lime wedges and remaining chile sauce.
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