Friday, 15 April 2011

Tastes of Tunisia (not certified authentic tastes)

Makes your kitchen smell real exotic
I was very excited to get a rare escape from my desk yesterday lunchtime, and join my Dad and two friends for lunch at a great Korean restaurant just over the road from my office (in case you're interested We stuffed our faces full of kum chee, noodley delights and BBQ'd pork a-plenty. On returning to work to find a tornado had hit my desk in my absence, I battled to stay awake, my very full tummy urging me to have a little snooze. That wasn't an option, so I fought on and somehow made it through to 6pm. My point is, that when I got home, I wasn't exactly ravenous, but wanted something light and healthy. Some would argue I could have just gone without dinner, or perhaps had a piece of toast. These people don't know me.

This Tunisian Fish Stew (not claiming it is authentic, but in my imagination this is what they eat in Tunisia) is a one pot wonder, is border-line crazily healthy and tasty, in equal measures, and is so easy, that a five year old could throw it together. Serves 2. With a bit left over for a small pre-bedtime bowl-full, for my boyfriend who can't quite manage the gap between supper and breakfast.

Slice two big handfuls (v. precise) of new potatoes into thick rounds and put in a saucepan. Add to this a teaspoon of harissa, half a teaspoon of ground cumin, a teaspoon of paprika, juice of half a lemon, two quartered tomatoes (I can never be bothered to do the whole blanching and peeling thing) and a litre of water. Give it all a good stir and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are nearly done. Take one big piece, or two small pieces of white fish and lay on top of the stew, add a big glug of extra virgin olive oil and cook for another 10 minutes. By now the fish should be cooked, gently break it up a bit and throw in any combination of chopped mint, parsley and coriander, best with all three, season and serve.

If the smell hasn't driven you wild for the last ten minutes, check your pulse.

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