Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Recipe - Swordfish Tagine

A bad workman must never blame his tools. But my camera is shockingly bad. It does fine for taking photos of people getting drunk and sitting in the sun (I won't lie- that's mainly what I use it for) but nice, close-up shots of food? No. A new friend I made who lives down my corridor has a sweeeeet camera and kindly took some photos of the food when he came to dinner. It was a good one for him to photograph - full of deep yellows and purples and reds.
Dinner: swordfish tagine. Originally moroccan fish tagine which was intended to be made with either mackerel, gunard or monkfish. The monkfish I could only find in too large quantities, gunard is scarce at the moment according to the fishmonger and this photo from the Telegraph recipe for mackerel tagine put me off because it made me think of mermaids having their tails cut off. Weird.
Anyway, I ended up using swordfish and it worked gloriously. 

I broadly followed this BBC Food recipe but made some changes.

Swordfish Tagine


Olive oil
Groundnut oil
1 red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 red chillis
1 green chilli
1 thumb sized piece ginger, finely chopped
12 green olives, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
Juice of two lemons
1 large glass wine
200ml fish stock (made with 1 Knorr stock cube and around that much water)
1 tsp turmeric
100g cherry tomatoes
500g swordfish, skinned, boned and cut into chunks
Salt & pepper

Please note that the spice quantities are estimates: I tend to just sprinkle it in straight from the jar. But that should be an OK estimate (assuming the tsp is heaped). ALSO if I made it again I would only use the juice of 1 lemon and I would use 200g of cherry tomatoes.

Fry the onions, garlic, chilli and ginger gently in groundnut or some other flavourless oil. 
When softened and aromatic, add the cumin, cinnamon and chopped olives.
Fry for a minute until the smell of the spices really starts to come out. 
Add the lemon juice and a good glug of olive oil and cook for a minute.
Add the wine and fish stock. 
Stir in the turmeric as you bring the mixture to a gentle simmer.
Let simmer for between 5 - 10 minutes.
Add the swordfish and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the cherry tomatoes, season everything well with salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 7 minutes. 

250g cous cous
Enough stock to cover the cous cous (I made veg stock using a Knorr stock cube)
Lots of finely chopped coriander
1 green pepper, finely chopped

Put the cous cous and pepper together in a bowl. Add the veg stock, cover with a tea towel and leave for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, check that it is fluffy and cous-cous like and stir in the coriander and a little salt.

Now compare this bad boy with the ones clearly from my crappy camera:

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