Yield: 4 servings
Time: 45 minutes
This mouth-watering seafood dish from Morocco is full of flavors and colors – as they say, “the eye eats before the mouth”. Accompanied by Couscous and Chermoula it is a sure bet with our friends. I use whatever fish is on hand, preferably cod, mahi-mahi, halibut or sea bass. Sometimes I add a few shrimps, mussels, squid or octopus, whatever I happen to have handy. The preserved lemons cut into thin slices give this dish the tangy flavor typical of the Moroccan cuisine.
A Tagine or Tajine is both the name of the dish and the glazed earthenware vessel in which the food is prepared in Morocco and Algeria. It is used for cooking and for serving. I got my Tagine on the market in Carpentras in the Provence and I love it.
Chermoula is a mixture of fresh cilantro (aka coriander), cumin parsley, garlic, paprika, lemon and olive oil, you find the recipe here.
- 1/4 cup (about 5 g) cilantro leaves and tender stems finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp Spanish paprika
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lb (450 g) firm white fish fillets, cut into bite-sized chunks
- 8 large shrimps, peeled and deveined, tails left on
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups (300 g) roughly chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 tsp Ras-el-Hanout
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 large ripe tomatoes, (about 400 g) peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
- 1 large carrot (about 115 g) cut into thick slices
- 2 medium potatoes (about 400 g) cut into 1/2 inch (1,25 cm) thick slices
- 1 large red pepper (about 150 g) cut into rough chunks
- 1 cup (150 g) green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces
- salt and freshly ground pepper pepper
- 2 cups of water
- 2 medium size preserved lemon, pulp discarded and skin thinly sliced
- cilantro (fresh coriander leaves) (optional)
In a bowl combine cilantro, lemon juice, paprika, ginger, salt and pepper and olive oil. Add fish and shrimps. Toss to coat well with the marinade. Refrigerate while you prepare the vegetables.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large saucepan or tagine over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, Ras-el Hanout, and cumin. Cook for about 5 minutes or until onions start to soften.
Add tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes or until tomatoes begin to fall apart and sauce begins to thicken. Spread carrots, potatoes, green beans and red pepper on top of the tomatoes. Add enough water to cover vegetables. Add salt and pepper. Cover and simmer over low heat until vegetables are tender – about 15-20 minutes. Add more water if necessary to keep vegetables from burning on the bottom and to create an almost soupy sauce. Add preserved lemon slices and cilantro (fresh coriander leaves). Give it a gentle stir and adjust seasonings to your taste.
Remove fish and shrimps from the marinade and arrange it on top of the vegetables. Cover and cook over low heat until for about 5 minutes or more depending on the thickness of the fish. Add shrimps and cook until shrimps just turn pink. Add more water if needed if you serve it with couscous.