Traditionally made with red snapper (huachinango), which is now endangered, this dish is delicious with plentiful rock cod--aka Pacific snapper--instead. Serve with rice (start it before the fish).
Wine Pairing: A lively Italian variety like Enotria 2012 Dolcetto (Mendocino County; $19). The wine's bright acidity and juicy red berry and plum fruit sync up with the tomatoes here, while the olives and capers pull out a touch of herbal brininess in the wine.
1 tablespoon brine-packed capers, drained, and chopped if large
1 can (14.5 oz.) good-quality diced tomatoes, such as Muir Glen
2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 small or 2 large rock cod (Pacific snapper) fillets (1 to 1 1/2 lbs. total)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, plus several lime slices
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
Cooked white rice
How to Make It
Heat 3 tbsp. oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion, 1 tbsp. oregano, and bay leaves and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mince garlic, roughly chop half of olives, and thinly slice chile; set chile aside.
To pan, add garlic, olives, capers, juices from tomato can, sugar, cinnamon, and wine. Simmer sauce, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until reduced slightly, 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, remaining 1 tbsp. oregano, and chile.
Slip fish into sauce and spoon some sauce on top. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pan, and cook just until fish is opaque throughout, 8 to 10 minutes. Drizzle lime juice over fish and sauce.
Serve fish over rice. Spoon on sauce, drizzle with remaining oil, sprinkle with parsley, and add a lime slice.