Fish Tagine with Potatoes, Tomatoes and Olives

Fish Tagine

Last night I cooked the first meal in our new house so wanted to make it a good one. I got the recipe from the Moro cookbook. Moro is that Spanish/North African restaurant in Clerkenwell that Felix and I have been to a couple of times – most recently for his birthday when we were home this summer – and raved about to you and mum ad infinitum.

I used barramundi instead of hake and some delicious kalamata olives. The charmoula marinade smells amazing; I had the bowl in front of me while I peeled the potatoes and am now determined to manufacture a charmoula flavoured air freshener.

The ingredients list, but not the method, tells you to grill, skin, seed and slice the peppers so watch out for your timings. Of course I don’t own anything sophisticated like a pestle and mortar or a tagine but I got by. We ate it with mangetout (or snow peas as they say in these parts).

Serves 4

4 hake steaks, about 250g each or fillets of 225g each (you can use any white fish)
20 small, waxy new potatoes, peeled
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
15 cherry tomatoes, halved
4 green peppers, grilled until black and blistered, skinned, seeded and sliced into strips
A handful of black oily olives
100ml water
Sea salt and black pepper

Charmoula:
2 garlic cloves
1 level teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground cumin
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon good quality red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon paprika
1 small bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil

We make the charmoula in a mortar and pestle. Pound the garlic with the salt until a smooth paste is formed, then add the cumin followed by the lemon juice, vinegar, paprika, coriander and olive oil. Rub two-thirds of the charmoula mixture into the fish and stand in the fridge for between 20 minutes and two hours.

Boil the potatoes in salted water for 10-15 minutes until just tender. Drain and halve lengthways. In a medium saucepan, heat two tablespoons of the olive oil over a medium heat and fry the garlic until light brown. Add the tomatoes and toss for two minutes until they begin to soften. Stir in the green peppers ad remaining charmoula and check for seasoning.

In a 25cm tagine, saucepan or frying pan with a lid, spread the potatoes evenly over the bottom. Scatter three quarters of the pepper and tomato mixture over the potatoes, then place the marinated fish on top. Dab a little of the remaining pepper and tomato on top of each fish, as well as the olives. Add the water, drizzle on the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, put on the lid and steam over a medium to high heat for 10-15 minutes or until the fish is cooked through.

K

Image found here

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