Tuesday, 11 March 2008

An Accidental dinner: Chermoula Trout with Puy Lentil Veggie Stew

As I had bought a huge bunch of cilantro (just so I could garnish my thai soup) I was determined to not waste it, and went on a cilantro-rich recipe hunt! I typed in "coriander recipe" (having briefly forgotten my lesson) into google, and my googlepedia found me this Wikipedia article on Chermoula.

Yuck, I think that is quite enough links for now...

So anyway, I was initially planning to use a decent piece of white fish with my chermoula marinade, and make a cous cous salad to go with it.

But I saw an amazing piece of Scottish trout at the fishmongers - rich pink with the finest marble lines. And was reminded how much I love trout. I much prefer it to salmon. My grandfather used to be a fisherman, and my childhood holds many memories of whole trout (along with the occasional rabbit - never worked that one out actually). I don't think I appreciated it enough at the time though!

I had a think - and decided that the trout could hold the strong flavours of the marinade - and the unlikely (yet delicious!) combo of Scottish trout with Moroccan marinade was born! If you can't get a hold of trout, I'm sure salmon would work similarly.

I got home, and hit a set back. The cous cous that I need to make my vegetable cous cous side... was gone! No idea where. I definitely don't remember eating a whole packet of cous cous. So I decided to go for bulgar wheat instead.... but was similarly denied. I think there is a grocery thief with very precise requirements at work in my kitchen. Alternatively, it was fate, because although i finally decided on puy lentils through lack of choice - the earthy lentils with the slightly gamey taste of the fish and the super spicy and garlicky flavours of the marinade were really, really good!

What I'm trying to say, is this is not a dish I would have chosen to put together, but it's definitely one I'll put together again!

Chermoula Trout with Puy Lentil Veggie Stew

This gave me enough fish for one big meal - though there was loads of veggie lentils left over - I had that the next day - I added a handful of black olives, and ate with hummus and pita bread. So it may not have been authentic, but it tasted great!

  • 250g piece trout (or salmon!)
  • 1 cup puy lentils
  • 1 small courgette, halved and sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 red chilli, sliced
  • a couple of handfuls of mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 tbsp chermoula
  • 2 cups stock - whatever flavour takes your fancy
  • Olive oil to fry
Rinse and drain the puy lentils, before placing in a pan with the stock. Bring to the boil, simmer for 15 minutes. add 1 tbsp of the chermoula and continue to cook until al dente. The stock should not be completely evaporated - we want this to help form a sauce with the vegetables.

Meanwhile, heat a glug of olive oil in a pan, and fry the onion for a couple of minutes. Add 1 tbsp chermoula, the chilli and mushrooms and fry until mushrooms are done. Add the pepper and courgette and cook for a few more minutes - the pepper should still have a bit of bite!

Add the carrots and lentils to the pan and stir to mix. Allow to cook for another couple of minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as required.

Serve the fish atop the lentils - and enjoy!

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Peter M said...

Us Greeks love our lentils and I've only now just had it in a more solid form than soup...loved it.

I'm also diggin' Chermoula and your trout looks delish.