Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fish Grilled with Chermoula--A Moroccan Sauce

After many fascinations with different exotic cuisines, for example Indian or Afghan, my most recent has been Moroccan. So in the upcoming months I will be sharing more recipes from that part of the world. Last week I even bought an original tajine dish to make my experiments more authentic.

But my first steps in the Moroccan cuisine were very simple. I made an easy green sauce called Chermoula that is used mainly to prepare fish and sea food but I also saw a chicken recipe with it. I fell in love with this marinade instantly.

Very fresh and aromatic, thanks to herbs and a touch of spices, chermoula tastes great on any fish. Even more, it can make an ordinary and imperfect fish taste better. I once baked mahi mahi in parchment paper to keep it moist but, eventually, it still seemed excessively dry. Yesterday, I made mahi mahi again, but I marinated it with chermoula and grilled and it came out delicate and moist.

I make my chermoula most often from a whole bunch of parsley and cilantro, keep it in a fridge, and use it when I need it. I put it in a jar and drizzle with olive oil, which preserves chermoula from discoloration. This way I can keep it in a refrigerator for a couple of weeks.

Fish Grilled with Chermoula

1 lb of mahi mahi fillets or any quality fish,
1 small bunch (about a well-packed cup) of chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves,
1 small bunch (a cup) of chopped flat-leaf parsley.
3 garlic cloves,
1/4 cup olive oil,
juice from 2 lemons (about 1/4 cup).
1 tsp paprika,
1 tsp ground coriander,
1 tsp ground cumin,
1/2 tsp black pepper,
1/2 tsp salt.

1. To make chermoula, put parsley and coriander leaves in a food processor. Add garlic and pulse until it acquires the consistency of a pesto.
2. Add lemon juice, olive oil, and all spices. Blend until it creates a smooth paste.

3. Spread a couple of spoons on top of the fish until it is well-covered with chermoula and let it marinate for 4-6 hours, preferably overnight.
4. The rest of the marinate transfer to a tight closed small container, cover with a tbsp of olive oil and keep in refrigerator until next use.
5. Preheat the grill to about 350F.
6. Place fish in a metal rack and grill on both sides. It will take about 10-20 minutes depending on its thickness. Serve with couscous or salads.