Tagine of blue-eye trevalla with chermoula, olives and okra.
Tagine of blue-eye trevalla with chermoula, olives and okra. Photo: Marcel Aucar

Tagine of blue-eye, trevalla with chermoula, olives and okra

A traditional earthenware tagine is a beautiful way to slowcook meat, and more delicate proteins like fish. The blue-eye in this dish both bakes and gently steams, making for succulent and tender flesh. This dish was inspired by a recent trip to Marrakesh. If you don't have a tagine, use a covered saute pan.

3 x 200g thick fillets blue-eye trevalla, skin on

1 recipe chermoula

Extra virgin olive oil

1 white onion, cut in rings

1 green capsicum, cut in rings

1 large tomato

2 handfuls of celery leaves

1 unwaxed lemon, cut in rounds

12 okra, blanched for 3 minutes

1 handful of black olives

Salt flakes

1. Coat the fish in three quarters of the chermoula and leave to sit for 20 minutes at room temperature.

2. Place the tagine over a medium heat. Once warmed through, add a splash of oil and quickly fry the onion and capsicum (just to coat in oil and slightly soften). Remove half the onion and capsicum and and lay the fish on top of the remainder. Turn the heat to low and place the reserved onion and capsicum on top.

3. Coarsely grate the tomato over the fish, sprinkle over some of the celery leaves and top with the lemon, okra and olives. Season and turn the heat up to medium. Add a small splash of water, spoon over the rest of the chermoula and cook with the lid on for 20 minutes.

4. Once cooked, remove the lid, sprinkle over the remaining celery leaves and serve in the dish with plenty of couscous.

Drink: A soft southern French rosé´ or a light and juicy red wine but nothing with too much grip.

Serves: 4

ALT

Potato chip tortilla with chermoula

This may seem a little odd but it's delicious and has a pretty strong pedigree. The inspiration for this take on the Spanish classic, tortilla de patatas, comes from Ferran Adria. The chermoula adds a little North African spice.

6 large (70g) free-range eggs

50ml cream

185g packet quality plain salted potato chips

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 recipe chermoula (or see below)

1. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and cream until combined.

2. Add the potato chips and gently stir through. Leave to sit for five minutes or so, mixing every now and then.

3. Once the chips have softened, heat a small non-stick frying pan over medium heat, add the oil and pour in the tortilla mix. Stir the mix through quickly, then flatten out and cook for two to three minutes, loosening the sides with a spatula as it sets.

4. Take off the heat and lay a plate over the tortilla. Turn the pan over while holding the plate and carefully remove the pan. The tortilla will be on the plate with the cooked side facing up.

5. Pour most of the chermoula into the pan so that it coats it evenly. Slide the tortilla off the plate and back into the pan. Cook for another couple of minutes, then again turn out on to a plate. Spoon over the rest of the chermoula and allow to sit for five minutes before serving.

Drink: Albarino

Serves: 8-10

ALT

Chermoula

There are countless versions of chermoula and probably just as many disagreements over the best or most authentic. I picked up this one on a recent trip to Morocco.

1/2 bunch parsley

1/2 bunch coriander

1/2 tbsp salt flakes

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 1/2 tbsp paprika

1/2 tbsp cumin powder

1/2 tbsp ground coriander seeds

1 small piece preserved lemon, finely diced

6 small garlic cloves

30g fresh turmeric (or 1 tsp ground dried turmeric)

Extra virgin olive oil

1 lemon, juiced

1. Roughly pick the parsley and coriander and chop until quite fine but still with some texture.

2. Add the herbs, salt, pepper, spices and preserved lemon to a medium bowl. Finely grate the garlic and turmeric and mix in. Add a splash of water and enough oil to make a loose paste - not too loose, as you still have to add lemon juice. Mix the lemon juice through just before using.

Tip: This doesn't store well so use the day you make it or the next day.

Makes: A small bowl.