Here we are at our final week of Spice Month and these last two spices came in neck and neck in the race. So this week will feature both Cumin and Coriander and luckily they taste great together!
This first recipe was inspired by my days back in Ballymaloe Cookery School. This was a dish we would make using chicken paired with mint raita, so I knew the flavours worked well but I had never tried it with fish. Basically I used the spice mix much like you would when you’re “blackening” fish.
Blackened - A cooking technique where meat or fish is coated with a seasoning mixture of spices in a skillet that is heated until oil added to the pan reaches its smoke point. This technique gives the food a crust and sears in the juices.
NOTE: Ideally you’d use Grape seed oil as it gets to a higher temperature before smoking. I, however didn’t have any so I used my go-to olive oil.
As it turned out the crust using the cumin-coriander combo worked great but I didn’t feel it would go with the usual raita so I decided to pick (rob) some fresh tomatoes and make a lovely coulis with fennel and red pepper as well. There’s something so fulfilling using fresh ingredients from the garden (or shall I say neighbor’s garden!) Cheers Cristina!
Disclaimer: That’s not my hand in the photo! Couldn’t tell you whose it is.
2 x 4-5 oz wild Pacific Halibut portions
2 tbsp cumin seeds – roasted in dry saute pan for 3-4 minutes
3 tbsp ground coriander
pinch sweet paprika
1/4 tsp salt
You’ll have extra for next time.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Mix the spice rub mixture together and dredge the fish in the rub on all sides. Set aside.
Preheat non-stick skillet and add drizzle olive oil.
Sear fish on medium high heat, on all sides for 1 minute until golden. Place on foiled oven tray and pop in the oven for 4 minutes until cooked through or internal temperature of 160F.
Let rest for 5 minutes after cooking.
Tomato Fennel Sauce:
4 tomatoes – core removed and roughly chopped
1/2 fennel bulb – core removed, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper – seeds removed, thinly sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
Preheat saucepan on medium heat for 1 minute. Add 2 tbsp olive oil. Add peppers & saute for 1 minute, stirring. Add fennel and tomatoes and stir together. Cover with cartouche.
Simmer on medium low for 20 minutes. Add 1 cup low sodium chicken/veg broth and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, covered.
Remove and blend. Taste and season with S&P.
NOTE: Be careful when blending hot liquids as they expand so puree in batches.
I found this video for you guys to show you how to make a cartouche. It’s a handy cooking tip and will impress everyone when you bust it out at your next dinner party.
One of the first techniques I learned back in Ballymaloe after stocks and sauces was how and why to make cartouche.
A cartouche, from the French word carta meaning ‘paper’, is a circle of parchment or wax paper cut to fit the circumference of the pot. It’s used for braises, stews, sauces or even for glazing baby vegetables. The beauty is they keep some moisture and heat in the pan yet allow enough of it to escape so that the liquids can reduce at a slow pace. Give it a go now and make one.
Let me know how you get on!