Monday, January 23, 2012

Fish Tagine - Sunday Dinner

I decided to go bold and make a real, and exotic, dinner last night. I've been wanting to use my tagine dish for a long while and finally decided the time had come. 
In an attempt to figure out exactly what sort of dish I was in the mood for, I scoured my cookbooks and then I love how this website gives you so many search options - course, occasion, cuisines, ingredients (great when you have leftovers or need to use certain things sooner than later) and even by special diets. What I also love about this site is that it gives you the Nutritional Facts and you can adjust the number of servings and it'll update the quantities on the recipe. 
I finally decided on a Fish Tagine With Olives (Morrocan Stew). My boyfriend and I paid a quick visit to our local Mar Vista Farmer's Market on Sunday to pick up some fresh, local, in-season (loose term in Cali!) and/or organic produce to compliment the dish. We grabbed quite the color bounty from two of the veggie vendors plus some flounder from Smart Fish Co
Below (and after the break) are some photos of the process.
(I apologize for the quality, I only had my iPhone 3GS on me at the moment.)

Prepping the veggies and other ingredients. 
This is the tagine dish in the foreground. 
Continued prep for the Charmoula (marinade/sauce) with backyard lemons.
Pre-mixed Charmoula - lemon juice, parsley, garlic, paprika, cumin, S/P, etc.
After the initial cooking of the veggies, I added the flounder for Stage 2 of cooking.
The final product - YUM!
The link to the recipe is provided above and here. I made some small adjustments...

  • Potatoes - I chose red potatoes (large for that type) and actually left the skin on
  • White fish fillets - As mentioned, I used flounder fillets (which cooked in about 15 minutes - an inch or less in thickness and not frozen)
  • Roma tomatoes - I actually used 1 large beefsteak tomato because I love them and they looked much better than the roma tomatoes at the market that day
  • Ras el Hanout spice mix - Since I missed that there was actually a link to this mix, I just substituted a Garam Masala mix that I had since the portion was so small. It was a gamble but it worked. 
  • Green olives - These were harder to find than I thought - everything at the store is stuffed! I ended up buying a can of Santa Barbara Olive Co. olives since they were the only not-stuffed and pitted green olives I could find. I ended up skipping the first part of Step 4 since my "taste testing" revealed that they weren't bitter.
  • Preserved lemons - Again, I didn't realize that the link was actually a recipe so I just used straight up slices of lemon for this section
  • Carrots - I added these to the recipe since I had bought some at the market. I just chopped them into slices and added them in with the potatoes. 
The recipe serves 3 and has about 285 calories per serving (does not take into account my adjustments) and was served with whole wheat Trader Joe's Middle Eastern Flatbread. Traditionally, tagines are served in the dish while diners use pita or bread to dip out the delicious food contained within. It was a little messy but fun to eat. I received top honors - compliments from my boyfriend and my roommate. I can't wait to try additional recipes with this unique piece of kitchenware! My next one will probably be a completely vegetarian version. If you're feeling adventurous - I highly recommend trying this (you don't HAVE to have a tagine dish to make it) - enjoy!

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