MKMW: Fish with Moroccan Chermoula Sauce
A few months ago, I noticed that several of my blog friends were posting entries for something called My Kitchen, My World. Always the curious one, I decided to head over to see what the site was all about and was happy to learn that MKMW is a blog group dedicated to exploring the foods of new cultures. Each month, a new country is selected, and members are tasked with choosing a recipe from that area to create. At the end of the month, the recipes are posted and a new country is selected. Since I have really enjoyed pushing my personal boundaries and sampling new recipes, I am looking forward to the challenge of participating in this new (to me) community.
I have actually been wanting to join since first reading about the group a while back, but somehow I just never got around to it. I might have procrastinated yet another month except that a couple weeks ago, while waiting for new tires to be put on my car, I came across a few recipes in Rachael Ray’s Everyday magazine that fit this month’s theme perfectly. What is this month’s country? Morocco! Imagine my surprise when Rachel Ray had a feature devoted to Moroccan-inspired recipes. It was kismet.
Rachael Ray is one of the first chefs I started watching on Food Network; I think her bright, retro kitchen is what lured me in. It seems most people either love her or hate her, and I guess you can call me an inbetweener because I actually have a good deal of respect for what she does even if I do get tired of hearing her say “EVOO – extra virgin olive oil”. (I mean, why abbreviate it if you are going to then explain it *every* time? She even does it in her recipes…) I have several of her cookbooks, and her recipes have always turned out well for me even though I’ve never finished one in 30 minutes or less. So I felt like while her spin on a Moroccan dish may not be the most authentic, it would be a good first foray into an unfamiliar culture, and I was not wrong.
I opted to omit the zucchini couscous called for with this recipe and serve the fish alongside some sliced zucchini and mushrooms I sauteed in EVOO (ha!) just to keep things simple. And simple is the perfect word to describe this fish and chermoula sauce recipe! I seasoned the fish with creole seasoning (am I the only person to not keep Old Bay on hand??) then dumped all the remaining ingredients in the food processor. Even though RR says to use chopped herbs, I really didn’t see the point in chopping them right before blending since I have an expensive appliance that seems to be able to handle such tasks. Seemed like extra work to me, so I put it in whole and would recommend you do the same to save time (unless you have prep chefs, in which case, use them to their full advantage). The other recommendation I’ll give you is to add the EVOO (this is not going to get old!) slowly to the food processor chute as you blend it as opposed to all at once in the beginning. I felt my sauce was a little runnier than I would have liked, especially considering the recipe says it should be a “paste”. After blending the sauce for about 20 seconds, I popped the fish under the broiler and cooked up the veggies. I think I might have actually had this meal ready in fewer than 30 minutes and that even includes messing with the computer while trying to get the embarrassingly awful TV show I was watching to play. Quick, easy, delicious.
Morocco, I will visit you again.
Fish with Moroccan Chermoula Sauce
1 pound cod fillets
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons each fresh mint, cilantro, and parsley
3/4 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice + 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
Using a food processor, finely chop the red pepper flakes, garlic, mint, cilantro, parsley, paprika, cumin and coriander; season with salt and pepper. Add olive oil and lemon juice and peel; pulse into a thick paste.
Broil the fish, turning once, until firm, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a platter, spread with the chermoula sauce and let stand for 5 minutes to absorb the flavors.