Fish chermoula

Yield: 1 servings

Measure Ingredient
½ teaspoon Coriander seeds
12 \N Whole black peppercorns
¼ teaspoon Dried hot red pepper flakes
\N \N A large pinch saffron threads; crumbled
½ teaspoon Coarse salt
1 teaspoon Paprika
1 medium Onion; minced (about 1
\N \N ; cup)
⅓ cup Finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons Minced preserved lemon peel plus 2
\N \N ; tablespoons preserved lemon juice or
\N \N ; fresh lemon juice to taste
2 tablespoons Olive oil
2 tablespoons Finely chopped fresh coriander
1 \N Garlic clove; minced
6 \N Skinless small fish fillets such as sea; red snapper, or any
\N \N ; bass, other firm white
\N \N ; lean fish (about 1
\N \N ; 3/4 pounds)
2 tablespoons Unsalted butter
½ cup Water
4 \N Fennel bulbs; (about 3 pounds),
\N \N ; trimmed and cut
\N \N ; lengthwise into
\N \N ; thin strips,
\N \N ; reserving fronds
\N \N ; for garnish if
\N \N ; desired

FOR CHERMOULA

Make chermoula:

In a mortar with a pestle, an electric spice grinder, or a cleaned coffee grinder grind fine coriander seeds, peppercorns, red pepper flakes, and saffron. Transfer spice mixture to a small bowl and stir in remaining chermoula ingredients.

Lightly oil a shallow baking dish just large enough to hold fillets in one layer. Arrange fillets, seasoned with salt and pepper, in dish and top evenly with chermoula. Chill fillets, covered 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large heavy skillet melt butter in water over moderately high heat.

Add fennel and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Cook fennel, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 5 to 10 minutes more, and season with salt and pepper.

While fennel is cooking, bake chilled fish in oven until it just flakes, 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve each fillet on a bed of fennel and garnish with fennel fronds.

Serves 6.

Gourmet August 1994

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