Bell Pepper

Caribbean Fish in Colorful Vinegar Shallot Sauce

April 19, 2013
0 Ratings
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

This is what I call my Haitian-American version of preparing a Haitian dish called "Poisson Gros Sel" which translated word for word means "Fish Coarse Salt." I believe that the original "Poisson Gros Sel" in Haiti is made with whole fish like red snapper, or any other white fish of firm flesh, that is deeply incised, and rubbed with lime juice and/or vinegar and seasoned to taste with "gros sel" (coarse sea or kosher salt), black pepper, and Habanero or Scotch bonnet pepper if desired. The dish is left to marinate overnight or for a couple of hours. Some butter or oil is then heated, onions and bell pepper are fried into the butter/oil, and then the fish along with the marinade is added. Once cooked, the fish and sauce are placed on a nice a serving dish. In another pan, several shallots, the small ones left whole, and the bigger ones cut in two or more (depending on size), are fried in some more butter, and then poured over the fish. It can be served with white rice or boiled green plantains.

The first time I had this dish was at the house of some friends of mine who were hosting a beautiful buffet dinner party. But their dish was made with morsels of halibut or orange roughy covered with a wonderful vinegary sauce topped with several shallots and green/red/yellow bell paper. I asked their cook how she made such a delicious dish; she told me she did not really have a recipe but gave me some brief instructions without necessarily knowing the quantity for each ingredient. Armed with my limited knowledge of how to make this dish, I tried it for the first time and it was surprisingly a success. So here is the recipe. I hope you too enjoy it; I myself, as the true Caribbean/Haitian person that I am, love this dish served with white rice, watercress & avocado salad, and fried ripe/sweet plantains. Enjoy! —Regine

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 cup white onion, finely diced
  • 3 medium garlic clove, finely minced
  • 20 small shallots or 10 large shallots
  • 4 Bell Peppers (a combination of 2 to 3 colors, red, green, yellow...), sliced into rings
  • 2 tablespoons Unsalted butter or Ghee
  • Coarse Sea Salt (or Kosher Salt) and Black Pepper to taste
  • optional 1/8-1/4 teaspoons Habanero or Scotch Bonnet pepper, finely chopped (with seeds or no seeds)
  • 3 pounds skinless/boneless Halibut, Orange Roughy or another firm white fish
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or olive oil
  1. Using electrical blender, blend onion in white vinegar, then add the minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste, and, optional, the Habanero/Scotch Bonnet. Taste and adjust seasoning. You want the marinade to be well seasoned with enough salt since you will not put any on the fish itself. Pour over the fish, and bake at 350F for 10-20 minutes or until fish flakes. I like to use a sprayed 9x13 pyrex.
  2. While fish is being baked, heat the oil, and cook the shallots* for about 5 minutes, then add the bell peppers and cook for another 5 minutes. *If shallots are small (which I prefer), leave whole (peeled of course and with the ends cut a bit); if large, cut in 2 or more depending on size.
  3. When fish is ready, pour all the sauce from the fish into shallot mixture. Bring to a boil, then add the butter and stir. Pour sauce back onto fish and serve.
  4. I recommend a large white plate at least 2 inch deep in which to showcase the fish topped with the shallots and bell peppers. Also note that as the fish cooks and you place on serving plate, it will separate into various morsels with or without help. I prefer it this way rather than attempting to serve the fish/fillets whole.

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