Sweet and Scented Fish Tagine
Nearly 30 years ago, when I met my husband, we both enjoyed a diet that was largely animal protein-based. He wasn’t a fancy cook—and neither was I—but we both enjoyed cooking, and most of our meals centered on animal protein. I was famous for my brisket, which I cooked without fail on every Jewish holiday, though not so much in between. All that changed unexpectedly when my husband had a serious health scare. Thus began an evolution in eating that started him (and our family) down a road of more vegetable- and fish-centric meals, including for holidays.
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¾ teaspoon paprika
- ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 large shallots, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 14½-ounce can diced tomatoes
- ¾ cup orange juice
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup chopped dried fruit, such as raisins, apricots, prunes, pears
- 1 egg, beaten
- Approximately 1½ cup panko-style matzah meal (you can use regular panko when it’s not Passover)
- 6 6-ounce pieces firm white fish, such as mahi-mahi or wild-caught cod
- 3 tablespoons chopped parsley and/or cilantro
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a dry heavy skillet over medium heat, cook ginger, paprika, cumin and turmeric until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to pan, heat briefly, then add chopped shallots and garlic. Over medium heat, continue to cook and stir frequently until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, orange juice and cinnamon, bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer for 10 minutes. Add chopped dried fruit. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, and add a little water or juice from some tomatoes if mixture becomes too thick. Turn off the heat under pan until ready to add the fish.
- In a separate heavy pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil, and begin to heat on medium-low. Add beaten egg to a shallow bowl and matzah meal to a separate bowl. Dip pieces of fish into the egg, then the matzah meal and then carefully add to the pan with olive oil. Turn heat up to medium. Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes, then carefully turn each piece and cook on the other side, browning lightly on both. While fish is cooking, turn heat under sauce to low. Carefully transfer fish to the pan with the sauce. Spoon sauce over fish and cover. Cook for 10 more minutes, or until fish is cooked through and sauce is warm.
- To serve, transfer fish and sauce carefully to platter or base of tagine dish, sprinkle with chopped parsley and cilantro, if using. Spoon remaining pan sauce over fish.