Last week I asked Andy want he wanted for dinner and he had a think and announced ‘Middle Eastern’. I had a bit of a look on the internet and a bit of a look through my cookbooks and decided that ‘Moroccan’ was close enough.
Made in Morocco is a cookbook that, while it gets sporadic work outs, probably is somewhat underutilised. My mum bought it for me almost 10 years ago (and doesn’t that make me feel ancient) just before I headed off on a holiday to the said country. My break was less haute cuisine and more eating harira (a chickpea and noodle soup) around a campfire. But, you know, if you ever fancy a trip where your night time toilet breaks are outside and accompanied by sleet and braying donkeys, I guess I recommend a ‘winter sun’ trekking holiday*.
I originally thought I was going to make a simple fish tagine from the book, but when push came to shove, even that started to look like too much work, so I decided that actually, I’d just make the chermoula and that would do as a simple sauce/dressing for the fish.
Traditionally, chermoula is quite a wet spice mix which is used as a marinade. But really, it has tons of uses. By altering how much oil you use, you can make it firmer and more dip like, you can use it as a sauce or a marinade, and, in my case, I used left overs on pasta as a kind of pesto. You can use this with pretty much any protein and of course its robust flavour means it would be great with barbecued meat.
Very flexible and very tasty. And, of course, quick, easy and perfect for making ahead!
* This makes me sound a lot more hard core and adventurous in my holidays than I actually am. And I would actually genuinely recommend a trekking holiday in Morocco because the scenery is stunning.
- 1 bunch of coriander
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 red chilli (seeds removed, if you wish)
- ½ tsp salt
- juice of 1 lemon
- ¼ cup of (good quality) olive oil
- Process everything together, adding the oil slowly until you reach your desired consistency.
- If you are making the chermoula as a marinade, make it runnier and use a light olive oil. If you intend to use it as a dip, use a very good quality extra virgin olive oil and make it firmer (dipping consistency!).