Luscious Cod Fillets marinaded in Moroccan Chermoula
I was absolutely wowed by the simplicity of this dish after first sampling what we had created (by throwing an assortment of ingredients on a tray and banging it in a hot oven). This delightful simple recipe relies on very few ingredients, however they must be of excellent quality for it to pack a punchy, provocative flavor. I recommend being discerning when selecting your cod fillets and if in doubt, pop into your local fishmonger. On the plate pictured above, I marinaded the fish in a shop-bought paste sold by the Belazu ingredient company, which can be purchased at Sainsbury's and Waitrose, however you can also make your own. For a long time, my family and I have been admirers of the Belazu products for their expertly blended non-perishable spice pastes that can vamp up any dish and removing the need for wrestling with lots of leafy herbs, pungent garlic and tearful encounters with sweaty onions. Belazu are in fact, also one of the few companies who produce preserved lemons, a critical ingredient in Moroccan cuisine.
Ingredients (serves 4)
4 Cod fillets (approx 160g-180g each, skin on)
4 tbsp of olive oil
2 tsp of smoked paprika
600g og baby new potatoes, halved
2 peppers red/yellow sliced finely into rings
1 * bunch of fresh parsley, chopped roughly
20 cherry tomatoes, left whole
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 a jar of Belazu Chermoula spice paste (or see below)
Chermoula spice paste (home made, Optional)
4 tbsp of olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 preserved lemons, chopped finely
2 tsp of paprika
1 tsp of ground cumin
1 tsp of salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 handful of capers, chopped
20g of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
20g of coriander, finely chopped
To make the homemade Chermoula paste, stir all the ingredients together in a bowl, then blend until smooth with a hand held blender (or make sure the ingredients are very finely chopped). Store the paste in an airtight container in the fridge, ready for use and keep for up to 5 days.
Heat the oven to 180 c (in a fan oven) ready for cooking.
Place cod fillets in a bowl and marinade in the Chermoula with a slosh of olive oil, the crushed garlic and a generous amount of salt and pepper, rubbing the fillets on both sides with your hands. Cover with cling-film and return to the refrigerator for at least 1 hr for the fish to absorb the amazing flavors.
Select a baking tray and place your potatoes inside, rubbing them with some of the Chermoula paste with a teaspoon, then sprinkling them with the paprika and seasoning. Bake the potatoes in the oven for 20 mins.
Next chop your tomatoes and peppers then once the potatoes are done place them on top, covering them with more oil and seasoning. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, keeping an eye to make sure the peppers don't burn.
Once the potatoes and vegetables are ready, now gently lie the cod fillets on top in the baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes, keeping a close-eye on the fish, it will turn opaque and the flesh will become delicate and flaky, try cutting into an edge with a fork. If you cook the fish too long it will become dry.
Once the fish is cooked, serve onto hot plates and garnish with the chopped parsley, now Enjoy!
The Foody Girl