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
- 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.