FISH TAGINE

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A stunning supper recipe for two….

INGREDIENTS – FOR TWO PEOPLE

  • 2 cod fillets / haddock or any white fish of choice, skinned
  • 200 ml fish stock
  • 1 teaspoon paprika – picante not dulce
  • 1 teaspoon of zatar
  • 1 fresh red chilli-deseeded and cut into strips
  • 250 gm chick peas rinsed
  • 2 carrots halved then cut into 4 batons each
  • 1 small white onion
  • 1 long red pepper, deseeded and cut into small pieces
  • 3 cloves of garlic chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 4 cherry tomatoes
  • Salt and black pepper

METHOD

Preheat oven to 150c.

Pan fry the onions, garlic, red pepper and carrots in a good splash of olive oil until the onions a soft. Add the chick peas and chilli strips and heat through for another minute or so. Then add the tomatoes, halved, and stir in. Sprinkle over the zatar. Cook for another few minutes stirring gently.

Add to a tagine.

Season the fillets with salt and black pepper. Then in the same pan gently fry the fillets for about two minutes either side – you are not cooking them right through, just colouring the outsides. Then add hot fish stock to your vegetables in the tagine – it should not swamp the veg, just about cover it. Lay the fillets on top. Sprinkle over the paprika.

Pop the tagine lid on and place in the oven – you can leave it for up to two hours to absorb the flavours but it should be fine after an hour if you are in a hurry!

Thi sis so wonderful – I love playing about with these types of recipes and i created this based on other meat dishes I had cooked. I made a vegetable tagine recently that was similar to this – minus the fish of course – and with ras el hanout instead of zatar, no paprika and vegetable stock instead of fish. I used an aubergine (eggplant) diced, courgettes, sliced and half mooned, cubed butternut squash, onions, peppers – you can use anything! Key with the veg one is to pop all veg, minus the onions, in a large bowl, add splashes of olive oil, then the ras el hanout and coat it well before frying.

Enjoy amigos!!

Game for a falafel…

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Game for a falafel...

This is a dish of delights. It is simplicity itself and truly tasty in every respect. Not as authentic as the fabulous falafel I have tasted in the middle east but as a store cupboard standby version – this does the trick.

For 4 wraps – makes about 12 balls

410 gm tin of chickpeas drained
1 bunch chopped spring onions
Large handful of chopped parsley and chopped coriander
2 cloves of garlic crushed
2 tsp cumin seeds
Pinch of smoked paprika
1 egg
Olive oil
Lemon

In a bowl mash by hand the chickpeas, the coriander, parsley and garlic. I uses my large stone pestle – though you could use a decent masher too. Add the cumin and paprika and stir in.

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Season with a little salt and black pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Break in an egg and stir in well.

Heat about 1 to 2 tbsps of olive oil in a frying pan. Form the mix into small balls or patties – this bit is wonderfully messy – enjoy it. Get tactile with your food! Gently place the balls into the oil and leave for no more than 3 minutes on a medium heat. Turn them gently and repeat for 2 to 3 minutes until they have a good golden crisp coating – they will remain gorgeously gooey inside.

I served them in a wrap with salad leaves and some sweet chilli sauce, or you could just squeeze over more lemon juice – anyway, they  proved very, very popular with my kids. Immensely popular in fact!

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Cumin roasted and fried squash, potatoes and cannellini beans…

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Cumin roasted and fried squash, potatoes and cannellini beans...

I reckon this is a dish I could eat a lot of, and on its own. It is a mouthful to say and indeed a mouthful to eat! And a fine mouthful at that.

I had a butternut squash but wanted to experiment rather than just roast it straight. I peeled the beast, cut it into rings then halved the pieces. I then cut about 8 baby new potatoes in half.

I gurzled – new word I just made up (and I like it!) – some olive oil into a roasting tin and scattered over 2 tablespoons of cumin seeds . I popped this into a hot oven – 200c- for about 10 minutes, then added (carefully mind) the squash pieces and the potatoes. I then put the roasting tin back in the oven for around 40 minutes.

I had a loin of pork in the oven roasting satisfyingly away to itself on a bed of 4 halved long shallots and when it was ready I rescued the onions and put to one side.

Whilst the meat rested, I took out the squash and spuds and added it all to a large frying pan to which I added the shallots and a 400 gm tin of drained cannellini beans. Oh, and a little pinch of a garam masala mix. A little salt and pepper was duly ground over also and stirred gently for 5 minutes or so whilst everything got romantically aromatic.

The smell was divine. Rapturous. Roasting it first and then transferring it to finish off with the beans and shallots was a good move, if not economical on the washing up side of things!

Just for the sake of completing the circle – my main intention was after all to draw your attention to the fabulous squash dish – I added 125 gm of vegetable stock to the pork juices in the pan plus a tablespoon of crème fraîche and some black pepper.

The whole meal was one of my favourite Sunday spreads for a while.

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