Fish Tagine with Preserved Lemons and Mint
|2 poundsFresh fish fillets; such as cod, haddock, halibut|
|2 tblspoonsOlive oil|
|1 Red onion; finely chopped|
|2 Carrots; finely chopped|
|2 Celery ribs; finely chopped|
|1 Preserved lemon; finely chopped|
|14 ouncesCanned tomatoes, diced; with juice|
|2/3 cupFish stock; or water|
|2/3 cupWhite wine; or fino sherry|
|Sea salt; to taste|
|Ground black pepper; to taste|
|1 small bunchMint leaves; finely shredded|
|-- FOR THE CHERMOULA --|
|2 clovesGarlic; chopped|
|1 Red chile, seeded & choppe; (or Harrisa to taste)|
|1 teaspoonSea salt|
|1 small bunchCilantro|
|1 pinchSaffron threads|
|1 teaspoonGround cumin|
|3 tblspoonsOlive oil|
|1 Lemon; juiced|
Fish Tagine with Preserved Lemons and Mint Preparation
First, make the chermoula. Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic and chile with the salt to form a paste. Add the cilantro leaves and pound to a course paste. Beat in the saffron and cumin and bind well with the olive oil and lemon juice (you can whizz all the ingredients together in a blender if you prefer). Reserve 2 teaspoons of the mixture for cooking. Cut fish into large chunks and toss with the remaining chermoula. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
Heat the oil in a tagine or heavy-based casserole dish. Stir in the onion, carrots and celery and saute until softened. Add the preserved lemon (reserving a little for sprinkling) with the 2 tsp of chermoula and the tomatoes and stir well. Cook gently for about 10 minutes to reduce the liquid, then add the stock and the wine. Bring the liquid to a boil, cover the tagine, reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. This can be prepared ahead.
When ready to serve, gently reheat the sauce. Toss the fish in the tagine, cover and cook gently for 6-8 minutes, until the fish is cooked through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place in serving dishes, sprinkle with reserved preserved lemon and the shredded mint leaves.
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