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Monday, January 16

North African fish stew

Olive oil, extra-virgin
¼ cup
Onions, red, medium size, thinly sliced
2
Raisins, golden
2 tablespoons
Cashews, salted, roasted
¼ cup
Bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 red
1 yellow
Tomatoes, medium size, peeled, seeded, sliced crosswise 1-inch thick
4
Ras el hanout (Moroccan spice blend)
1 tablespoon
Vegetable stock
1 ½ cups
Catfish or tilapia fillets,
cut into 1 ½-inch cubes
1 ½ pounds
Salt

Black pepper, freshly ground

Couscous
2 cups
Cinnamon, ground
½ teaspoon
Cumin, ground
½ teaspoon
Butter, unsalted
1 tablespoon
Water, boiling
2 cups
Scallions, thinly sliced
2
  1. In a large, deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil.
  2. Add half of the onions, and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until browned; about 8 minutes.
  3. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl.
  4. Add the raisins and cashews to the skillet, and cook for 1 minute; transfer to the bowl.
  5. Add the remaining oil to the skillet, and then the remaining onions with the bell peppers.
  6. Cook until softened, about 7 minutes.
  7. Add the tomatoes, ras el hanout (recipe follows), and stock; cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  8. Season fish with salt and pepper, and add to the skillet.
  9. Cook over moderately high heat until the fish is cooked, about 5 minutes.
  10. Place the couscous in a bowl, and toss with cinnamon and cumin.
  11. Add hot water, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes.
  12. Stir in butter, salt, and freshly ground pepper.
  13. Spoon couscous into bowls, top with stew, and then garnish with cashew-raisin mixture and scallions.
Recipe by Cat Cora, published in Food & Wine, February 2012.
Ras el hanout
Ginger, ground
2 teaspoons
Cardamom, ground
2 teaspoons
Mace, ground
2 teaspoons
Cinnamon, ground
1 teaspoon
Coriander seeds, ground
1 teaspoon
Allspice, ground
1 teaspoon
Nutmeg, ground
1 teaspoon
Turmeric, ground
1 teaspoon
Black pepper, freshly ground
½ teaspoon
White pepper, freshly ground
½ teaspoon
Cayenne pepper, ground
½ teaspoon
Anise seeds, ground
½ teaspoon
Cloves, ground
¼ teaspoon
  1. Blend all the spices together in a bowl.
  2. Store in a glass, air-tight jar in a dry, dark place.

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