Moroccan Halibut and Carrots

Rob was grousing about A2 not having any decent Moroccan restaurants in it so I said to myself, “How hard can it be to cook Moroccan? I’m a decent cook, I bet I could do it.” SO I set off to gather me some recipes. My one hindrance being that I know jack about Moroccan food but I didn’t let that stop me. I found a bunch of tasty looking recipes, printed them off and planned some eats. My first recipe comes from Epicurious and was the most interesting looking of the lot.

From the site:

Moroccan Halibut and Carrots
Bon Appétit | November 2009
by The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen

yield: Makes 2 servings
active time: 25 min
total time: 25 min
Cinnamon, cayenne, and mint give this healthful main course some exotic North African flavor.

* 2 5-ounce 1-inch-thick halibut fillets
* 1/4 teaspoon (generous) ground cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon (generous) cayenne pepper
* 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, divided
* 1 cup 1/4 x 1/4 x 2 1/2-inch sticks peeled carrots (cut from 2 large)
* 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
* 3/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
* 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint

Sprinkle both sides of fish with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then with half of cinnamon and cayenne. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy medium skillet over mediumhigh heat. Add fish. Sauté until brown and just opaque in center, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer fish to plates. Remove skillet from heat and wipe out. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter, carrots, lemon juice, and lemon peel. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and remaining cinnamon and cayenne. Toss to blend. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until carrots are just tender, about 5 minutes. Mix in mint. Mound carrots on fish and serve. 30-minute dinner

Production Notes
Halibut is damn-ass expensive. I asked the Whole Foos guy what else was like halibut because the $30 a pound price tag was making me a bit faint at heart (and me with my fridge attack just the week before. I was in delicate health!). The fish guy said that halibut was like halibut so I bit the bullet and shelled out a pretty penny for the main ingredient. I thought at that price the halibut better be fan-frikkin-tastic AND get up and do the damned dishes after the meal. $30 a pound!

As it turns out, you can use pretty much any solid whiteish fish (Lake Superior Whitefish would be absolutely acceptable) which was not very oily (cod is way out) and this would be just as swell. $30 a pound my big fat heiney!

Some of the reviews suggest cooking the fish and fish topping at the same time in two pans so the fish doesn’t get cold or dry out. I opted to follow the suggestions even though we do have a warmer drawer since I didn’t want dry fish.

I do believe I used the recommended amounts of spices including mint, which isn’t pictured above because I forgot about it until almost the last minute. We chopped up some mint and garnished the top, which is a bit different than the directions.

We made some hummus and couscous and put the fish on top of that (and then the carrot mixture hat on the fish). Deeelicious.

This was a tasty but odd dish. The flavors didn’t mix together but rather all were pretty strong and all were distinct yet they didn’t fight each other either. TheMan and I both liked it quite a lot but it was also something very much off our beaten taste path with flavors that we will probably have to get used to to really appreciate the dish. As is, I’d make it again, but with cheaper fish.

2010: JSFR: Glico Hana Ichigo Chocolate

2009: I thought, “You know what, I’m going to crack (not literally) out the good china because what’s the point of having it if you never use it?”

2008: I’m a-feeling it here…St. Patrick’s picto-zombie blog!

2007: Our options were to level up, which involves actual thinking and doing on our part, or screw around, which we are (quite frankly) much better at.

2006: La-la-la! I can’t hear you junk food intolerance!!!

2005: JSFR: Hello Panda (vanilla)

2004: I guess I have no soul or something because to me it looked like a great big hole in the ground with a river at the way way bottom..

2003: I came back as a bag of groceries accidentally taken off the shelf before the date stamped on my sack

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