Two weeks ago we were standing in the middle of the Belizean Jungle.
Out the window today? Kind of depressing isn’t it?
We had the most amazing vacation and I completely fell in love with the Caribbean and Central America. Like, head over heels in love. My only complaint was that we just didn’t have enough time! Today I’m sharing a Belizean seafood recipe for #WeekdaySupper. What is #WeekdaySupper you ask? You’ve seen me participating in #SundaySupper for months now, but the Sunday team is also taking turns hosting a recipe each day. We’ll share a recipe each weekday to get your family around the table every day!
So where is Belize?
I’m sure a lot of people have never heard of this country, but it’s been popping up often in travel circles as a great destination – because it is! It’s certainly a developing nation but thanks to tourism it’s emerging. The roads are iffy, but the scenery is breathtaking. It has some of the best diving in the world. I was a however a little saddened by the food. It’s pretty meh. I’m going to blame this on the fact that it was a British colony until the 1980’s! No, that’s not fair but in truth what we did eat here was not too spectacular. I’m imagining that in the home kitchens of Belize the food is much better.
Back to my recipe. Fish Serre is a Garifuna dish. The Garifuna people are descendants of Carib, Arawak, and West African people. They live in the coastal communities of Central America and speak a creole language. It’s no surprise that seafood is a commonly eaten in Belize. They really do make use of the locally grown products whether they are foraged in the jungles or commercially grown. This dish is a great example of that. I love this recipe because it looks really impressive, but it’s SO easy to make!
- 4 filets of a whitefish such as tilapia or cod. Red Snapper is another option
- 3-4 carrots sliced thinly
- 1 red pepper (bell or hot depending on how hot you like it!)
- 2 plantains
- salt and pepper to season
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 1 can of coconut milk
- cooked white rice (to serve on the side)
- parchment paper
Preheat your oven to 350F.
In a large bowl (big enough for your fish filets), pour out the coconut milk. Traditionally this would be made by grating a coconut and squeezing out the liquid – but I don’t think many of us have spare coconuts lying around to do that! Keep in mind that canned coconut milk will often solidify so you may need to use a whisk to mix together the liquids and solids. Add in the garlic cloves as well.
Rinse off your fish and season with salt and pepper. Slide into the bowl of coconut milk and allow to marinade 15-20 minutes. While the fish is getting ready wash and cut your produce. The carrots should be peeled and sliced thinly – you can use a mandolin if you have one or else just use a knife. Clean the pepper and cut into long thin strips. Finely peel and cut the plantain into bite size rounds.
On a large surface cut a piece of parchment paper about the size of large cookie sheet (about 18 x 13 inches). In the center make a bed of pepper slices, followed by carrot slices and finally a piece of fish on top. You can add the plantains around the sides or on top of the fish. Drizzle some of the coconut liquid on top of the fish and vegetables. To seal the package, take up the two long ends of the paper and fold over on each other, closing the top. Then fold up each of the sides so that it is sealed all the way around. Repeat for all of the fish. Place the packages on a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan and slide into the preheated oven.
The cooking time will depend on how thick your fish is but it should take about 25 minutes. You can open up one of the packages to check. If the fish is flaking or falling apart it’s ready!
You can serve the packages as they are on the table, allowing your guests the opportunity to open up their own or you can plate them. This is typically served with white rice on the side and the liquid serving as a gravy of sorts.
One note – this is a bit sweet, so you may wish to also have some hot sauce along the side. I think the hot and sweet makes a really nice compliment to each other!
Throughout the week, you can find the #SundaySupper team sharing #WeekdaySupper meals as well. Getting families back to the dinner table is our mission, and I hope we inspire you to try some of our delicious recipes. You can find them on our Pinterest Boards as well as at our weekly #SundaySupper chats on Twitter. We meet up each Sunday at 4 p.m. Pacific Time to chat about our best food ideas and recipes, to encourage families to meet for meals around the family dinner table. Please join us!