Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Moroccan Fish Tagine: A New Favorite!

I'm not sure how my husband managed to eat this meal since he seemed to spend the whole time singing its praises... but there wasn't a scrap left in his dish at the end. About 6 months ago, my sister gave me an authentic Moroccan tagine - a terracotta pot with a cone-shaped lid. The lid has a single little hole in one side near the top to let just a little steam out. Most of the moisture stays inside, creating moist tender dishes. So far, I've only used it for chicken. But she also gave me a copy of Ghillie Basan's cookbook called Tagine: Spicy Stews from Morocco, so I decided to give this one a go.

The ingredients are pretty basic, so don't let the fact that it is Moroccan deter you. No tagine? Just use a heavy pot with a lid. (It won't look as cool on the stove, but it'll taste great.)

Tagine of Monkfish, Potatoes, Cherry Tomatoes and Black Olives
adapted from Tagine: Spicy Stews from Morocco by Ghillie Basan

  • About 1 lb. monkfish, cut into chunks
  • 4 new potatoes
  • 3 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 pat of butter
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 12-16 cherry or grape tomatoes
  • about 12 fleshy black olives - I used Kalamata
  • 1 green bell pepper, broiled until black, peeled and then cut into strips
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • lemon wedges, to serve
For the Chermoula

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1 heaping tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 red or green chile, seeded and chopped
  • freshly squeezed juice of one lemon
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • a small bunch of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

First, make the chermoula. Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic with the salt to a smooth paste. Add the cumin and chile and mash a bit. Add the lemon juice and olive oil. Finally, stir in the cilantro. Put the fish in a shallow dish and rub it with about three quarters of the chermoula. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours. Reserve the remaining chermoula.

Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to a boil and drop in the potatoes. Boil vigorously until almost cooked, but still a bit hard - the original recipe says 8 minutes for small potatoes. I did mine about 11 but probably could have let them go a minute or two longer. Remove them from the water and set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil with the pat of butter in the bottom of a tagine or heavy bottomed pan. Add the garlic and stir. When the garlic starts to brown, add the tomatoes to soften them a bit. Add the peppers and the reserved chermoula. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Tip this mixture onto a plate.

Arrange the potatoes over the bottom of the tagine and spread half of the tomato mixture over them. Place the chunks of marinated fish over the center then spoon the rest of the tomato mixture over the top. Tuck the olives in around the fish and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Pour in about 1/2 cup of water. Cover and let steam for 15-20 minutes, until the fish and potatoes are cooked through. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.

Tagine Of Monkfish, Potatoes, Cherry Tomatoes and Black Olives on Foodista


Eileen said...

Wow - what a great gift! ;)

Ladyberd said...

you should try the recipe - it was super easy. and jeff seriously didn't stop talking about it

nicole said...

Oh, I love tagine, but I've never tried it with monkfish... I bet this is wonderful! Thanks for posting!

Erin said...

thanks for the comment Nicole. If you try the recipe let me know how you like it!

bathmate said...

As always an excellent posting.The
way you write is awesome.Thanks. Adding more information will be more useful.


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