As I pointed out earlier, I made some preserved lemons a few weeks ago. I have been looking forward to making a Moroccan chicken dish with preserved lemons, but something else caught my eye.
Many years ago, when I visited my homeland of Northern Ireland, I enjoyed sea bass for the very first time in my life. Living in Canada, I had caught and eaten both smallmouth and largemouth bass, but sea bass was entirely new to me and tasted nothing like its namesake that lives in freshwater lakes and rivers. Since that first time of eating sea bass across the pond, I have not seen it very often in my local supermarkets until recently. Mind you, I have not looked for it either.
This evening while shopping at a local Zehrs store, I saw that they had fresh sea bass and recalled a recipe I had come across for that type of fish, along with vegetables and other vegetables, as well as Moroccan preserved lemon. So I decided I had to give it a try.
The recipe says it will serve four. I figured that being the big eater that I can be at times, it would probably make tow full meals for me. Well.. I pigged out. Turns out there is perhaps 1 1/2 meals – with no sea bass left over.
Now considering there were five cloves of garlic in total as well – I likely won’t be kissing anyone over the next few days. But.. was it ever scrumptious!
The sea bass I purchased was about a pound before it was cleaned and the head removed. I am not sure the net weight of the fish, but it cost me about $9.00. I figured I would eat half of it this evening and the rest tomorrow.
I followed the directions and discovered that curcumus was another word for turmeric. The spices included turmeric, garlic, cumin, parsley, cilantro, oregano and pepper, all made into a paste with lemon juice and a bit of water.
The vegetables in the dish included onion, potatoes, green pepper, portabello mushrooms, and tomato.
The sea bass was cooked on top of onions, with the other vegetables surrounding it, and the spice paste rubbed into the fish with the rest of it drizzled over the vegetables. Half a preserved lemon was cut into wedges and placed on top of the fish.
It was so good. I ate practically the whole thing, with some potatoes and mushrooms left over for my brunch tomorrow (I’ll fry them along with some bacon and eggs). I ended up eating the entire fish in one sitting.
It is hard to describe the cornucopia of tastes on my tongue! It was just really that good. I should point out that I did not cook it in a traditional Moroccan tagine, but in my cast iron Dutch oven with the lid off, in the oven.
Tomorrow my son is visiting with me, and I’m planning on the chicken with preserved lemon.