Food. Inspired. Design.

Food. Inspired. Design.

What inspires you to cook? hunger does not count. Breakfast with a bling (click on image to find recipe)  My mother, god bless her golden hands and her Moroccan recipes, is a big believer that good food and full tummy … Continue reading

Moroccan cuisine in Paris

I love authentic Moroccan food. There is no second to its richness, texture, flavors and the awesome verity in Moroccan cuisine makes it a very happy food.  One of my favorite is couscous but not the kind that comes in a box. No! I’m glad my mother doesn’t read my blog, if she knew I used instant couscous in this recipe (quick and easy but delicious), she would never let me in her house again. So lets just keep is between the two of us shall we.

But I’m hungry for the real deal here, the kind of couscous my mom prepares from scratch. The kind of couscous that if you start to cook it early in the morning, you might be able to finish on your child’s graduation day. That’s how long it takes to make it. Is labor of love worth the hassle? let’s think: it’s fluffy, airy, versatile, delicious and takes on any flavors you top it with, simply 100% customizable to your own juice buds. I’d say Yes. Do I make it from scratch? On occasions, depending on my mood. But that’s another post.

moroccan couscous

Paris is loaded with top-notch restaurants, especially middle eastern ones that prepare my kind of couscous. I will not mention what they top the couscous with but it’s…oh, I can’t even describe it. But I’ll tell you anyway, they top it with Chicken Tagine, spicy sausage, tender meat, lamb, or simply cooked vegetables that make this dish blast with flavor. Almost the same as my mom’s.

moroccan chicken with olives

Besides, when you’re in Paris can you go wrong with food? most chances, in my opinion, no.

paris cafeThis is my favorite spot when I visit Paris with my husband, located in Place de la Madeleine . This is the view from our window so it was easy to check when this place opens.

I love to explore goodies in Paris especially Moroccan food but let’s get things straight here – I am not talking about Morocco, a country that got me in every sense of the every way, the core of all everything Moroccan.

But Morocco, in a future post.

Delicious red-hot Moroccan fish tagine

There are only two words that when I hear at any given moment I get all excited (besides other two words o.k.). Words that make me feel all warm and cozy inside, make me imagine rich colors, exotic spices, velvety sauces, table filled with hungry mouths. Well, that’s just me – Moroccan food. Yes. Yes.

It’s rich, hot and sexy and nutritious but most of all it’s unforgettable. Authentic Moroccan food is never an unhealthy bunch of spicy ingredients thrown onto something and cooked. No no. Moroccan food is simply pure fresh ingredients with one main star – fish, chicken or beef and lots and lots of love.

moroccan fish tagine

So today we are focusing on love = Moroccan fish = love.
Ever since I remember myself my mother cooked fish every Friday for Shabbat table. She would start her cooking on Wednesday, preparing a juicy marinade for the fish. Then she would dip the slices of fish in the marinade, making sure not even a tiny spot is uncovered. She would lay them perfectly in a large pot on a bed of fresh vegetables and refrigerate it for two days – until Friday noon. Then she would place the big pot on the stove, first high heat and a few minutes later I would hear bubbling and the house is filled with this CRAZY aroma that drove us all nuts we wanted to eat each other. Patiently while humming in her beautiful voice mom would then turn the heat to low and let the fish cook until it’s tender almost falling off the bones, the sauce is thickened and redder than ever. My juice buds are going bananas now. My mother is simply a Moroccan food genius.

I’m hopelessly inspired by her so I’ve developed my way of re-creating my mother’s fish tagine. Let me tell you – when we have guests they always wipe the plates clean. I don’t even have to wash the dishes 😉

moroccan fish tagine

Now let’s impress some people shall we:

Note about fish: I use whole fish clean inside and out and cut to 2″ thick. You can use fillet if you like: red snapper, halibut, white fish – it’s a personal preference.
Here I use 2 medium whole Trout
6-7 peeled garlic cloves
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp ground cumin
2 heaping tbsp of good quality sweet red paprika
(optional) 2 green chili pepper sliced diagonally
(optional) 5 small red-hot dried chili peppers
3 medium carrots peeled and sliced diagonally
2 celery stalks sliced diagonally
1 medium size red bell pepper cut to strips
1 small lemon thinly sliced
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped parsley
In a medium pot arrange vegetables except for the bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Set a side.
In a medium bowl combine herbs, oil and spices and dried chili peppers. Mix well into the oil. Coat pieces of fish with the spice mixture or dip each piece in the mix. Arrange fish on the vegetables, top with red bell pepper. Cover and let marinate in the fridge for at least two hours. You can leave it to marinate in the fridge for a full 24 hours if you’re planning to eat it the next day.
Turn stove on medium/high, pour 3/4 cup of water in the pot, leave uncovered and let fish get the first boil. When boiling turn to medium/low, cover and cook while reducing liquids, about 25 min or so. Keep an eye making sure sauce does not dry out. The smell is going to drive you crazy. Be patient it cooks quickly.

To serve: get your best dish out why wait for a special occasion? this is it. Gently lay a slice or two of fish on the plate, arrange some cooked juicy vegetables around it and spoon some of this rich red sauce on top. If you have fresh bread don’t hide it. The first bite with the bread dipped in the sauce and you transfer yourself to the land of spicy dreams: Morocco.

You don’t have to say a word…but I can’t promise you keep silent for long…