After thumbing through my newest cookbook, The Tajine Deck, I settled on the Fish with Chickpeas recipe mainly because it included the traditional Moroccan fish marinade of Chermoula. I was intrigued by yet another cuisine that used cilantro as the base for a condiment (see Argentinean Chimichurri and Indian Chutney) and knew I had to try it.
I left out the chickpeas and added several vegetables to make it more of a one pot meal and it was fantastic. Serving it over barley the stew was a wonderful blend of the cilantro chermoula, preserved lemon and braised fennel, kale and shallots. Perfect winter comfort food!
1 cup cilantro, chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1 preserved lemon, chopped
Combine all in food processor and season (carefully) with salt (preserved lemon is very salty).
Moroccan Fish Stew with Chermoula
1 lb halibut
1 cup chermoula
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, sliced
1/2 bulb fennel, sliced thin
8 leaves tuscan kale (aka black or lacinto), chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup of water
1 whole preserved lemon, cut into strips
Marinate halibut in chermoula for 8-12 hours. In heave sauce pan with cover, saute shallots in olive oil for 2 minutes. Add fennel and cook another 3 minutes. Add kale, water, cilantro and fish will all of marinade, preserved lemon and water and bring to low boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes or until fish is cooked through. Serve over cooked grains such as rice, couscous or barley. Good next day as well.