Friday, 28 March 2008
Now here's a recipe almost custom-made for Saffron and Lemons. It is a quick and easy Moroccan-inspired fish stew containing two of my favourite ingredients (g), and it is just perfect for a weeknight.
The original recipe comes from a cookbook that by all rights should not even be in my collection (as I am holding off buying cookbooks for a while (g)), but one that I could not resist as it was on sale at 50% of its already half-price tag. Who could pass that up...?
It's a Marie Claire title, Kitchen, that has lots of takes on the classics, as well as some mouthwatering-looking creative ideas (that, if nothing else, will certainly provide food photography inspiration). The Marie Claire cookbooks had escaped my notice until a while ago (I try to stay out of the cookbook section, for obvious reasons (g)). But I was impressed by a new one spied at Yurindo earlier this year. It also turns out that Donna Hay published a couple of MC titles when she was their food editor. Anyway, it's good stuff, and interesting to see that the author of this title, Michele Cranston, is another Aussie. (I don't think this is surprising, though, as food is serious business in Oz, and the population composition makes exotic ingredients just another part of the culinary wallpaper. It makes for some fabulous fusions.)
I was so impressed, I think I'll make up this week's menus from Kitchen as well.
As always, I have done a bit of fiddling with the recipe. I do the saffron the Middle Eastern way, and I added a tsp of the tagine spice mix from a little while ago. I think it adds a little something. Anyway, I loved this, and next time will give it a burl with chicken as well.
4 tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion, roughly chopped
10 saffron threads, ground in mortar with a little salt and dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp tagine spice mix
4 large potatoes, sliced into thick medallions or cut into bite-sized chunks
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
400 g tin chopped tomatoes
1 small cinnamon stick
600 g fish fillets, cut into 4 cm chunks
1 handful flat-leaf parsley [S: or celery leaves as I did]
2 tbsp finely chopped preserved lemon
Heat the olive oil in a deep-based frying pan or flame-proof casserole over medium heat. Add the onion, cumin and tagine spice mix and cook until the onion is soft and caramelized. Add the potato, celery, tomatoes, cinnamon and 250 ml water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. When the potato is soft, season the fish fillets with sea salt and add them to the stew with the saffron water. Simmer for a further 10 minutes, then season with freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with the parsley or celery leaves and preserved lemons.
Tagine spice mix (source: love to cook)
2 tbsp paprika
2 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground green cardamom