A classic method of preparing fish in Latin America.
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 tsp. black peppercorns
4 bay leaves
4 swordfish or shark steaks (about 8 ounces each)
Freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
About 1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 serrano or jalapeño chile, halved and seeded
1. To make the pickling liquid, in a nonaluminum saucepan, combine vinegar, 3/4 cup water, peppercorns, bay leaves, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil then remove from the heat and let cool.
2. Season fish steaks with salt and black pepper and dredge in flour, shaking off excess.
3. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add fish and brown on both sides, turning once, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain fish on paper towels.
4. Arrange half of sliced vegetables in a shallow earthenware dish. Place fish on top and cover with remaining vegetables. Add pickling liquid, cover, and refrigerate up to 24 hours.