We love fish in our household, it is a healthy and quick cooking protein and in my opinion very versatile. This time of the year I always try to dig up a few fish recipes keeping the Lenten meals in mind.
I had made this recipe a couple of weeks ago, and tried it in a tagine ( a traditional clay cooking pot, with a chimney like lid), yesterday I tried this again relegating the slow cooking part of it to a slow cooker. I was thrilled with the results and think it might me time to share the recipe with you. A tagine is a style of cooking, but also features some flavors such as preserved lemon, cumin and paprika. Such a dish is often served over rice or couscous and can be accompanied by a condiment called chermoula which is a herb based pesto of sorts mostly a combination of herbs, garlic and olive oil. I did not have preserved lemons, but made a generous quantity of chermoula, which I used today for grilling chicken. We will save that recipe for another day.
My version used almonds, I used skin on almonds which I had soaked in water overnight. The results were quite delightful. I ended up with unexpected company who were quite impressed by what they thought was a very fancy meal.
Actually, there are many ways to use a slow cooker, and using it to finish of a well seasoned fish or chicken dish may not quite be the fix or forget variety, but it actually does a very good job of keeping things moist, and ready for a meal. After all, some days that is really all that you need. I have through trial and error found this is a great method for working with fish when you are expecting company, it guarantees that perfect moist consistency. There is just one caveat, you will need to use a fish that is dense and meaty such as salmon or tuna.
A beautiful salmon tagine, that gets done with very little hands on cooking time.
- 1/2 cup whole almonds (skin on) soaked for 2 hours or longer in 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 cup freshly chopped cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon oil
- 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 or 2 large onions, thinly sliced
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 11/2 teaspoons freshly ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves (optional)
- 1 and 1/2 pounds of salmon fillet cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
- 1 green bell pepper thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 cup of canned or fresh chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- To prepare the chermoula, place all the ingredients in a food processor and process until very finely ground. This should have the consistency of a coarse pesto.
- Set this aside.
- Heat the oil and saute the onions and garlic until soft and wilted about 5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and mix with the cumin and coriander and salt.
- Stir in the thyme and fenugreek leaves and toss the salmon in this mixture.
- Place the salmon with all the seasonings in the base of a slow cooker. Note, if you have a tagine, you can just begin the cooking process in a tagine and continue adding the remaining ingredients and leave until done.
- Carefully place the bell peppers over the salmon.
- Pour over the orange juice and tomatoes and cover and cook either in the tagine or in the slow cooker for 1 and a half hours.
- Turn off the heat, garnish with cilantro and serve with rice or couscous with the chermoula on the side.