Jayne Cohen – Veracruzana Sauce

Veracruzana Sauce

Jayne Cohen

Jayne Cohen, author of Jewish Holiday Cooking: A Food Lover’s Treasury of Classics and Improvisations, writes and lectures extensively about Jewish cuisine and culture. She hosts an annual program on Jewish cuisine around the world at New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage. Featured cuisine writer and food blogger (Beyond Brisket) for Jewish Woman Magazine, she also writes Essen Around, food column at Centropa.org.

To be served with gefiltefish.


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
One white onion, chopped
3-4 large garlic cloves, minced
One 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
Fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, or to taste, crumbled
1/4 cup each chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley and cilantro, plus additional for garnish
1/4 to 1/2 cup pitted green olives, sliced
about three tablespoons capers
8 to 10 pickled jalapeƱos, or to taste, sliced in rings
  • Warm the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet. Add the onion, sprinkle lightly with salt, and cook over medium heat, stirring, until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant but barely colored. Add the tomatoes, additional salt and pepper to taste, and the oregano.
  • Raise heat to moderately high and cook, stirring, for about 15 minutes, until the tomatoes break up and the sauce has thickened. Taste and adjust seasoning. Stir in the parsley, cilantro, olives, capers, and jalapeƱos and simmer a few more minutes.
  • Serve the sauce warm with fish balls, garnished with sprigs of parsley and cilantro, along with plenty of challah to mop up the sauce.