Chermoula snapper with a bedazzled cous cous

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Hands up in Melbourne if you are totally sick of our bipolar weather.  This morning it was balmy and a touch humid and now…well let’s say I’m sitting here typing this still with my coat on looking out onto a depressing grey sky, trees swaying back and forth with the wind…sucks balls.

I know I should be used to this by now, I’ve lived in Melbourne all my life and it’s what we’re famous for right? four seasons in one day? Bah, I am so ready for real spring right now.  I seriously need to feel some heat and get some sun on my pasty white skin before I turn into a vampire….for reals.

Right now I wanna be somewhere where the heat is searing, maybe Africa.

Ok not going to happen, but we can eat like we’re in Africa.  We’re doing Chermoula today.  A marinade that is widely used in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia made with various herbs and spices, garlic, lemon and salt and used to flavour fish and seafood although you can use it on meats and veg as well.  Today we’re rubbing this goodness over a whole snapper.  If you’re a bit icky with cleaning your own fish, get your fishmonger to work for his money and do it for you.

Chermoula Snapper with bejewelled cous cous

Serves 3-4 people

what you need:

For the snapper:

  • approx 1 kg whole snapper
  • 1/4 bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 bunch of coriander or mint, finely chopped
  • 1/2 spanish onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ras el hanout
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or chilli powder ( go lighter on this if you don’t like spicy)
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1.5 tsp sea salt
  • zest and juice of 1 fresh lemon
  • 1 lemon cut into slices
  • olive oil
  • Greek style/Natural yoghurt
For the cous cous:
  • 1 cup cous cous
  • 1 cup boiling water or chicken/veg stock
  • 1/4 bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1/2 cup flaked almonds, toasted in oven

What to do:

Preheat your oven to 200C/400F

Place all the ingredients for the chermoula in a bowl, except for the snapper and lemon slices and yoghurt.  Just use enough olive oil to create a paste with the spices and herbs so it sticks to the fish.  If you prefer, you can blitz this all up in a food processor or blender but I prefer it a little chunkier like this.

Wash the fish and dry with paper towels. Make 3 to 4 incisions in the flesh of the fish to allow the marinade to infuse. Season the fish with salt & pepper and then rub the chermoula paste over both sides of the fish and inside the cavity.  Put some lemon slices in the cavity and wrap the fish in foil or baking paper.

Bake for about 30 mins or until cooked.  The fish is cooked when the flesh has turned white.  You can carefully check if it is cooked through one of the incisions you made.

While the fish is baking, make your cous cous.  Put your cous cous in a bowl and pour over hot water or stock if using.  Cover with cling film and leave for 5 mins until liquid has been soaked into the cous cous.  Remove the cling film and fluff the cous cous with a fork.  Mix in the almonds, parsley and pomegranate seeds, reserving some to sprinkle on top.  Taste and season for salt & pepper if necessary.

Serve fish with yoghurt and your bedazzled cous cous!

 

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  • Cara @ Gourmet Chick

    Yes totally not going to happen but this meal would certainly cheer me up – love the pops of pomegranate in the salad

    • Hey Cara, thanks for stopping by. I’m a huge fan of pomegranate, it also gives a great texture to the salad.

  • The fish dish screams flavors to me. I love the use of lot of Indian spices. Looks so good.

    • You’re right Vijitha, they are very much Indian spices as well. I’m sure you will really enjoy this.