Veracruz Snapper


1/2 cup olive oil
10 garlic cloves, 6 left whole, 4 very finely chopped
2 medium white onions, finely chopped
8 to 10 large ripe tomatoes (about 4 pounds), finely chopped, or two 28-ounce cans Italian plum tomatoes (preferably San Marzano), coarsely chopped, with their juice
24 pimento-stuffed green olives, sliced if large
4 to 1 Can Green chilies or 6pickled jalapeño chiles, stemmed, seeded, and cut lengthwise into thin strips
2 teaspoons small capers
4 dried bay leaves
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried thyme
4 sprigs fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried Mexican oregano
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon
1/4 cup dry white wine


1. In a medium stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add whole garlic cloves, and cook, stirring, until golden on all sides. Remove garlic and discard. Add minced garlic and the onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced, about 15 minutes.

2. Add olives, chiles, capers, bay leaves, parsley, thyme, oregano, salt, cinnamon, and wine. Cook until the sauce has thickened to desired consistency, 15 to 20 minutes. Taste and adjust for seasoning. If using fresh whole herbs, remove and discard before serving.