Jul 30, 2012

Moroccan Tajine\Tagine with Fish Balls

Hello all of you fish lovers.  This tajine is especially for you.  This one has sardines, mackerel, or salmon, preserved lemons, olives, roasted green peppers, tomatoes and a bit of heat. If you like fish then you will like this recipe.  It does take some coordination to get it all right.  The peppers need to be roasted first then prepare the fish balls.  Everything else will flow smoothly once those two steps are completed.  Also, in most Moroccan recipes parsley and cilantro is used together a lot.  I usually put both of them in a small chopper together and then process until chopped fine.  Sometimes, I put the onion, garlic cloves, parsley and cilantro all in at the same time.  Then I process until it looks the way I want it to and I save a lot of time by doing this. 


For the base: 

Roast 3-4 green peppers.  Remove the skin.  Cut into strips and set aside.

For the fish balls:

2.2 lbs of sardines
2 tbs of parsley and cilantro, finely chopped
salt\pepper to taste
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ginger
2 cloves of garlic minced or a teaspoon of garlic paste
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp harissa or 1/4 tsp red chili powder or cayenne pepper
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs lemon or lime juice (I prefer lime)

The recipe that I found said to pound the sardines with a pedestal and mortar and add the parsley and cilantro while pounding. I didnt do this, but I used canned mackerel instead of sardines.  We don't have fresh sardines where I live. You can also use salmon for this recipe.  Next, add the rest of the ingredients in the list above and mix well.  Form into balls about the size of walnuts and set aside.

For the base part 2:

2-3 tbs olive oil
3-4 carrots, peeled and cut in half and then in half again
4 tomatoes, skinned and put into a chopper or food processor until it is nearly liquid
salt\pepper to taste
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp turmeric
2- 3 tbs parsley and cilantro, chopped
1/4 preserved lemon, remove pulp and cut into thin strips.

In the bottom of a tajine add the oil and place on medium heat.  Once it is hot add the carrots.  Let them cook for about 15-20 or until they are nearly done.  In the mean time, skin the tomatoes and chop into small pieces.  Get the preserved lemon and olives ready for later use.  Once the carrots are tender add the spices, parsley and cilantro and simmer for a few minutes.  Mix well.  Then add the tomatoes, bell pepper, fish balls,olives, and preserved lemon, in that order. Add a sliced tomato on top if you like. Drizzle with olive oil. Cover and cook for about 20-30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.  Serve with Khobz or crispy bread.  Enjoy!