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Archive for May 7th, 2010

Ratatouille Niçoise or Provençale, is usually associated with France, in particular the region of Provençe, however its ingredients and flavours are commonly found throughout the Mediterranean.  I find it makes sense to make an extra large quantity as it freezes well.  This very convenient recipe can use freshly made or frozen (and completely defrosted) Ratatouille.  It can be assembled quickly using frozen white fish and fresh spinach plus the flavourings and seasonings.

The recipe, originally called Moroccan Fish Fillets, was printed on a Sainsbury’s free instore recipe card in the Feed your family for a Fiver series.  I have no idea whether the original recipe is authentically Moroccan, but it did not include any of the seasonings I usually associate with the region.  This is my adaptation of the original recipe adding some of these flavours, hence the name change.  I substituted spinach for the leafy spring greens that were originally suggested, but in a smaller quantity, plus I used home made Ratatouille Niçoise/Provençale (with our usual favourite added dried orange peel) in place of the tinned version. (As the home made Ratatouille already contains Herbes de Provence adding mixed herbs is unnecessary.)  Additionally, I added Pickled or Preserved Lemon and Ras el-Hanout spice mixture (my home made version), with sumac powder and fresh coriander to serve.  The original recipe also included a tin of chick peas to be mixed with couscous as part of an accompanying side dish.  This recipe is good when accompanied by my own recipe for Coriander & Chickpea Couscous Salad.

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

North African Style Fish Fillets
(Serves 4)

1 bunch of Spinach (original used Spring greens)
Ratatouille Niçoise/Provençale, quantity to feed four
½-1tsp Ras el-Hanout
4 pieces of frozen (or fresh) white fish fillet: pollock, cod or haddock
Slices of Pickled or Preserved Lemon, plus a little of the preserving juice
Olive oil
Salt & black pepper
Sumac powder to sprinkle (to taste)
Fresh coriander, chopped

1.  Preheat the oven to 200oC/Fan 190oC/400oF/Gas 6.

2.  Chop the spinach, rinse and place, without precooking, in a large ovenproof dish.

3.  Stir the Ras el-Hanout into the Ratatouille Niçoise/Provençale and pour over the spinach.

4.  Top with the pieces of frozen fish (no need to de-frost) and top each piece of fish with one or two slices of preserved/pickled lemon.  Spoon a little of the juice from the jar of lemons over each fillet along with a little olive oil. 

5.  Sprinkle with a little sumac powder and season with some salt and black pepper.

6.  Cover with aluminium foil making sure the dish is completely covered so the flavours are sealed in.

7.  Bake for 45 minutes, until the fish is completely cooked through, removing the foil for the last 5 minutes or so.

8.  Serve with a little more sumac and chopped fresh coriander (not dried) sprinkled over, accompanied by couscous.

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