As this recipe bubbles away the sauce thickens and reduces, producing a rich, flavourful base for the tagine. The Chermoula adds citrus notes along with a fresh flavour from the herbs.
1 tins chopped tomatoes
2 large tomatoes roughly chopped
1 onions, peeled and diced
1 red pepper, deseeded and diced
1 stick of celery, thinly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
5tbsp Chermoula Paste
2 preserved lemons, flesh removed and finely chopped
A pinch of crushed Saffron
6 new potatoes cut into quarters
250g White fish such as cod, haddock or pollock, cut into large chunks.
1 kg Mussels
200g Barley Couscous
Marinate the fish with 1tbsp of Chermoula and ideally leave for a few hours.
Place a large sauté pan on a medium heat, when hot add the oil to the pan followed by the onion, pepper, carrot and celery. Cover with the lid and sweat the vegetables for 10-15 minutes and season with salt and pepper.
Add the Chermoula, Saffron, potatoes and tinned and fresh tomatoes to the pan and mix thoroughly. Bring up to a gentle simmer and then cover and cook for an hour, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t stick.
Make the coucous next, place in a bowl and cover with 400ml boiling water and season with salt. Cover and leave to absorb for ten minutes, then fluff up with a fork.
Check the flavour of the tomato base and add salt and pepper if necessary. Add the fish to the sauce by placing some underneath and some on top. Tuck the mussels in and around the fish. Cover with a lid and cook on a low to med heat for five to ten minutes. All the mussels should have opened (discard any that have not) and the fish should be firm to the touch.
Serve with the couscous and garnish with fresh coriander if desired.