Cod Croquettes and Chive Dip

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IMG_3969Summer is here and Ramadan is just around the corner, this is why I have decided to prepare something easy and simple for lunch with the delicious fish; Cod. The origin of this recipe is from Portugal. The Portuguese are fond of this fish, and the recipe has spread across the Mediterranean. I made an Algerian version, both spicy and crunchy with a chive dip as accompaniment. The recipe is perfect for a summer entree!

Serves: 12-16 croquettes

Ingredients: (For the croquettes)

  • 500g of boneless Cod fillet (with skin on)
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • A few leaves of coriander
  • Half a teaspoon of harissa
  • 1 medium egg
  • Ground rusk for coating
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • Oil for frying (I use sunflower oil)

Procedure:

  1. In a large bowl add the cod and cover the fish with fresh water.
  2. Add the juice of 1 lemon into the large bowl, soak the fish overnight.
  3. The following morning remove the brown skin and rinse the fish.
  4. In a pot add the cod and cover with water, cook until the fish is tender and soft (approx. 20 mins).
  5. Drain the water and set aside the fish onto a plate.
  6. Peel and wash the potatoes.
  7. Place the potatoes into the pot and cover them with water. Add a pinch of salt.
  8. Cook the potatoes on a medium heat for 20 minutes until they become soft.
  9. Remove from the heat and drain them into a colander.
  10. In a large bowl add the fish and the potatoes.
  11. Mash with a fork the fish and the potatoes together.
  12. Add the crushed garlic, the chopped coriander, the chopped parsley, the harissa and the black pepper and finally one egg.
  13. Mix all ingredients together with a fork.
  14. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
  15. Remove the bowl from the refrigerator, and use your hands to make the shape of a round croquettes, and roll them into the ground rusk.
  16. Heat a large and deep frying pan, fry the croquettes until they turn golden brown.
  17. Drain them into a colander.
  18. Proceed the same way for the rest of the croquettes.

Ingredients: (For the dip)

  • 200ml of Greek yogurt
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • A pinch of crushed red pepper
  • Fresh chives

Procedure:

  1. In a serving bowl add the yogurt, the crushed garlic, the salt, the black pepper, the crushed red pepper and the chopped chives.
  2. Mix all the ingredients with a fork.
  3. Refrigerate before serving.

Serve the croquettes with the chive dip. You can drizzle them with some lemon juice or add more harissa on the side (for the brave and spicy-food-amateurs).

Bon Appétit.

Sardine Croquettes

IMG_3198I’ve decided no Sweet’s for Fiesta Friday but instead, a simple recipe with fresh sardines! A Sardines are beautiful little fish, inexpensive and delicious grilled, marinated or like today as spicy croquettes. Thank you Angie from The Novice Gardener  and thanks to Caroline @Caroline’s Cooking and Elaine @foodbod for co-hosting this week Fiesta Friday !

Serves: 12 pieces

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg of fresh sardines
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of red sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of harissa paste or 2 red chilli peppers
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small bouquet of fresh coriander (this one is from my garden)
  • 1 lemon
  • Oil for frying

PicMonkey Collage Procedure:

  1. Wash the sardines.
  2. Rub the sardines to remove the scales.
  3. Cut off the head.
  4. Cut along the belly to remove the organs.
  5. Rinse the sardines and put them into a colander (the technique is simple and fast).
  6. In a food processor add the sardines, the salt, the black pepper, the garlic, the paste harissa, the red sweet paprika and the coriander.
  7. Mix all the ingredients together, do not mix a long time just to assemble the ingredients (as seen in the picture).
  8. In a large pan add a little of the oil on a medium heat.
  9. Take a little of the sardines dough and make small croquettes.
  10. When the oil is hot add the croquettes and fry them.
  11. When they are gold, transfer them to a colander.
  12. Serve hot and drizzle with lemon juice.

The croquettes are tender, spicy and flavorful. You can add aïoli on the side for a delicious sauce (you can find my aioli recipe here). Bon Appétit.

Stuffed Calamari

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We love calamari at home when we went to buy fish I couldn’t resist to buy them.

Serves 4

Ingredients: (For the Calamari)

  • 4  medium fresh calamari tubes (cleaned, keep the tentacles for the stuffing)
  • 1 brown onion
  • 1 bunch of coriander
  • Chopped tentacles
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • 150g of Basmati rice
  • 8 toothpicks

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Procedure: (For the stuffing)

  1. Wash and rinse the calamari.
  2. Cut and chop the tentacles.
  3. In a bowl, add the chopped onion, the chopped coriander, the chopped tentacles, the salt, the black pepper and the Basmati rice.
  4. Mix all ingredients.
  5. With a teaspoon stuff the calamari slowly (be careful do not damage the calamari) and close the end of the calamari with two toothpicks (make a diagonal cross) to avoid the stuffing escape during the cooking.
  6. Set aside.

Ingredients: (For the sauce)

  • 1 brown onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of red paprika (Spanish for me)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of harissa paste (optional)
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • 400g of tomato puree
  • 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 liter of water

Procedure:

  1. In a large pot add the olive oil, the sliced onion and the chopped garlic.
  2. Start to cook on a medium heat for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the bay leaves, the paprika, the harissa, the salt and the black pepper.
  4. Continue to stir and mix all the ingredients together for a few minutes.
  5. Pour the tomato puree and mix.
  6. Add the stuffed calamari and cover with 1 liter of water.
  7. Cook for about 1 hour or until the sauce reduced (the rice should be cooked inside).

Ingredients: (For the Basmati rice)

  • 250g of Basmati rice
  • 4 pistils of Saffron
  • Water

Procedure:

  1. Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes.
  2. Rinse and drain the rice.
  3. Put water to boil with Saffron.
  4. Pour the rice and cook until the grains become tender and separate.
  5. Drain and set aside.

Final procedure:

  1. In a serving dish add the rice in the middle (I put the rice in a small bowl and I flip into the plate)
  2. Add the sauce and put on the top the calamari.

The calamari is tender and the rice with the spicy sauce is full of flavors. The rice is pale but not completely white.

PS: I am not an expert in cooking rice (at all), my friend Sabrina showed me how to cook basic rice!

Bon Appétit!

Mackerel Escabeche

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Escabeche is a Spanish dish that is also very popular throughout the Mediterranean region. This is a marinade made with olive oil and vinegar with fish like sardines, mackerels, and bonitos. Always eaten the following morning.

I bought fresh mackerels for this recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 8 fresh Mackerels
  • 2 white onions
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 6 medium tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 100ml of extra virgin  olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of harissa or (1 red chilli pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon of soft paprika
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • 100ml of water
  • 50ml of apple vinegar
  • Sunflower oil
  • Plain flour/ all purpose flour

Procedure:

For the Mackerels:

  1. For this recipe, I kept the head of the fish.
  2. Make an incision in the belly and remove the viscera.
  3. Scrape the inside to thoroughly clean and rinse in water.
  4. Set aside in a colander.
  5. In a large bowl, pour a little of the flour.
  6. In a large frying pan, add a little of sunflower oil on a hot heat.
  7. Deep the mackerels into the flour, remove the excess of flour and deep into the frying pan for 5 minutes.
  8. Remove and set aside.

For the marinated sauce:

  1. In a large frying pan add the olive oil, the sliced onion, the sliced garlic, the sliced tomatoes, the chopped parsley, the bay leaves, the harissa, the paprika, the salt and the pepper
  2. Cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes to let all the flavor and the spices mixed together.
  3. Add the water and the vinegar.
  4. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes.

Final procedure:

  1. Add the mackerels into the marinade and cook for 10 minutes on a low heat.
  2. Remove from the heat.
  3. Refrigerate the Escabeche until the following morning.
  4. Serve the following morning and drizzle with a little of vinegar.

This dish is spicy and sour with the vinegar. I suggest you to dip a piece of bread into the sauce, it’s much better.

Bon Appétit!

Grilled Hamour with Potatoes and Aioli

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IMG_6432Hamour is a fish of sea bass family (called Hamour in Dubai or Merou in French). This type of fish is famous in the Gulf region.

Aioli is a garlic sauce from South of France (Provence), is similar to mayonnaise but this one is made with olive oil, egg yolk, garlic and lemon juice. The perfect combination of fish.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 Hamour steaks (sea bass)
  • 8 small potatoes
  • 1 small bunch of coriander
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 100ml of olive oil
  • 1 egg yolk

Procedure:

  1. In a plastic bag add the 4 Hamour steaks, the chopped coriander, 2 chopped garlic and 4 slices of lemon and drizzle with olive oil.
  2. Shake the bag to mix all the ingredients together.
  3. Set aside for 1 hour into the fridge.
  4. Peel and wash the potatoes.
  5. Boil a cooking pot and add the potatoes with a pinch of salt.
  6. Cook for 30 minutes or until the potatoes becomes soft.
  7. Remove from the cooking pot and put them into the colander.

The Aioli:

  1. In a bowl add 1 egg yolk, a pinch of salt the minced and mashed of the 6 garlic cloves and the juice of a half lemon.
  2. Start to whisk vigorously and add slowly a few drops of olive oil and whisk constantly until the mixture is emulsified.
  3. Continue adding a few drops of olive oil (until you have added all of your olive oil) and whisk.
  4. The emulsion of Aioli doubled in size, you should have a yellow thick texture.

The final step:

  1. Preheat a grill pan over a medium heat.
  2. Remove the steak fish from the plastic bag and add the Hamour on the top of the grill.
  3. Cook each side 10 minutes (I liked them grilled).

Serve on a plate with a few slices of potatoes and a generous spoon of Aioli. The fish has a good texture and very tasty, the potatoes are soft and the Aioli gives the final touch.

You can store the Aioli in the fridge for 2 days. My mother makes the best one, thank you, mum, you’re my best teacher 😉

Bon Appétit!

Spicy Shrimp and Penne.

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IMG_5574Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 500g of Penne pasta
  • 1kg of Tiger shrimps
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Pinch of pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of harissa (spicy paste from North Africa)

Procedure:

  1. Wash your shrimps, remove the head, the shell and the black vein with your fingers and finally rinse your shrimps and put them in a bowl.
  2. In a cooking, pan adds the olive oil, the minced garlic, the harissa ( I use a Tunisian brand from the city of Cap Bon, for me, it’s the best) and start to cook (on medium heat) for 2 minutes.
  3. Add your shrimps and the minced parsley, the salt, and the pepper.
  4. Stir with a wooden spoon to mix the spices and the flavor together.
  5. Cook for 20 minutes.
  6. When the sauce becomes thick and the shrimp tenders, remove it from the heat.
  7. Meanwhile, boil a cooking pot and pour your pasta and cook for 15 minutes or Al Dente
  8. Serve your pasta and drizzle with olive oil and add to the top your spicy shrimps.

Looks delicious and taste delicious with the mix of the harissa and the garlic, my son finished the sauce with bread crouton.

Bon Appétit!