Featured Recipe: Cumin-Chili Crusted Snapper with Tomato Rice (Arroz con Jitomate)

Copyright Linda Gassenheimer

A coating of cumin and chili flavors firm-textured, slightly sweet snapper in this simple Latin meal.  There are many varieties of snapper and any will work well for this dinner. I had some leftover and found that the fish was delicious served at room temperature.  Make extra, if you have time for another quick meal or lunch.

Arroz con jitomate or tomato rice, a typical Mexican rice dish, is traditionally made with fresh, ripe tomatoes that have been peeled and mashed.  Using organic, canned diced tomatoes gives a fresh flavor without the time-consuming work.

I’m often asked how to store and freeze fish.  Here are some tips. Store fish in the coldest part of the refrigerator at 32 degrees for up to 2 days.  To freeze, wrap fish tightly to prevent freezer burn at 0 degrees for up to 2 months.  Thaw in the refrigerator or under cold running water.



2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 egg white, lightly beaten

3/4 pound snapper fillets

1 tablespoon canola oil

Mix flour, cumin, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl.  Set aside.  Dip snapper fillet in the egg white and then in the flour.  Coat both sides of the fillet and shake off extra flour.  Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Saute 3 minutes, turn and sauté 5 minutes. The fish should be opaque.  Makes 2 servings.



1/2 cup white long-grain rice

1 cup sliced green bell pepper

1 cup drained, canned low-sodium, diced tomatoes (14.5-ounce can)

2 teaspoons canola oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Bring a large pot with 2 to 3 quarts of water to a boil.  Add rice, bring back to rapid boil, and cook, uncovered, about 7 minutes.  Add green pepper.  Cook 2 more minutes. Test a grain, rice should be cooked through, but not soft. Drain into a colander in the sink.  Turn into a serving bowl or the cooking pot.  Mix in the tomatoes, oil and add salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle cilantro on top. Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition Information

CUMIN-CHILI CRUSTED SNAPPER:Per serving: 273 calories (32 percent from fat), 10.0 g fat (1.5 g saturated, 5.6 g monounsaturated), 60 mg cholesterol, 37.7 g protein, 7.3 g carbohydrates, 0.8 g fiber, 125 mg sodium. TOMATO RICE (ARROZ CON JITOMATE):Per serving: 262 calories (18 percent from fat), 5.1 g fat (0.7 g saturated, 3.5 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 5.1 g protein, 47.1 g carbohydrates, 3.2 g fiber, 16 mg sodium.

Shopping List

To buy: 1 bottle ground cumin, 1 bottle chili powder, 3/4 pound snapper fillets, 1 green bell pepper, 1 can diced low-sodium, canned tomatoes (14.5 ounce) and 1 small bunch cilantro (optional).

Staples: Flour, egg, canola oil, white long-grain rice, salt and black peppercorns.


Helpful Hints

  • Any type of white-fleshed fish fillet such as tilapia, grouper or pompano can be used.
  • If you want more kick to the rice, add several drops of hot pepper sauce to the diced tomatoes.


  • Start rice.
  • Prepare ingredients.
  • Make fish.
  • Finish rice.