Rachel’s Moroccan Fish
3 lbs of branzino, fileted and cut into 8 pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt, for salting fish
1/4 cup of olive oil
4 to 6 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon salt, for sauce
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 red pepper, sliced in long thin strips
1 yellow pepper, sliced in long strips
3 medium carrots, cut into thick diagonal chunks
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons harissa or 2 teaspoons hot paprika
1/4 cup preserved lemon, finely diced or juice of one lemon
2 dried Mexican chiles of your choice
1 15 1/2-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup water
One bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1/3 cup water
Rinse fish filets with cold water and pat dry.
Season fish with 1/4 teaspoon salt, place skin down on top of a few paper towels, then set aside.
In large, wide casserole with lid, warm oil over low heat and add garlic, spices, peppers and carrots. Sauté for 3 minutes to coat all vegetables with spices.
Add tomato paste, harissa, preserved lemon, dried chiles and chickpeas. Stir until all ingredients are coated with tomato and harissa, approximately 2 minutes.
Add 3/4 cup water, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure sauce doesn’t stick to the pan.
With large spoon, move carrots and chickpeas to sides of pan to make space for fish. Add fish, then spoon a generous amount of sauce onto each piece.
Add chopped cilantro, reserving a handful for garnish.
Add 1/3 cup water, cover and simmer for another 8 to 10 minutes, depending on thickness of fish.
Fish can be re-heated in covered pan over low heat or in oven.
Add reserved fresh cilantro just before serving.