Saturday, February 16, 2008

Dukkah-Crusted Fish with Cucumber Salad

Dukkah is an Egyptian nut and seed mixture. Eat on bread, sprinkle over salads and vegetables, or use to coat fish. It keeps well in an airtight jar, so mix a reasonable quantity at a time.

6 x 180 g portions filleted, firm white fish, skinned and sliced on the diagonal

freshy squeezed lemon juice, salt,

milled black pepper, butter

lemon wedges for squeezing


250 g sesame seeds

125 g coriander seeds

125 g hazelnuts, roasted and skinned

75 g cumin seeds

Cucumber Salad

1 English cucumber


1 red onion, finely sliced

1 fresh red chilli, seeded and finely chopped 10 ml sugar

Diet Start

50 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice

Dukkah: Roast all the ingredients separately in a dry frying pan. Grind in a hand mill or blender, keeping the mixture coarse (don't allow the nuts and seeds to become oily). Mix and store in a sealed bottle.

Cucumber Salad: Make ahead so that it can drain and chill; it is best within 2 hours of preparing. Finely slice the cucumber (a mandoline works best), sprinkle with salt and pile in a sieve. Set aside to drain for 10 minutes.

Rinse with cold water and spread on a cloth to dry. Mix in a bowl with the onion, chilli, sugar and lemon juice. Cover and chill.

To Serve: Sprinkle fish with lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, roll in dukkah and fry in sizzling butter in a non-stick frying pan, turning once. As it's thinly sliced, the fish cooks in a minute or two.

Place on warm plates and serve with cucumber salad and lemon wedges. Serves 6

Pomegranate's Pickled Fish

This is well worth making in large quantities, as it improves with keepin and has a fridge life of two weeks, if kep well covered.

1,5 kg yellowtail, kabeljou or geelbek (Cape salmon), filleted and skinned

200 ml vegetable oil

1 kg onions, finely sliced

15 ml fresh, well-made masala

5 ml fennel seeds

5 ml coriander seeds

5 ml black peppercorns

2 ml whole cloves

4-5 bay leaves, preferably fresh

125 g dried apricots

500 ml red or white wine

(red gives a deeper colour to the dish)

10 ml coarse salt 75 ml vinegar

30 ml brown sugar

Place fish in a baking dish which allows sufficient space for the sauce.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onions very slowly until they begin to colour; allow about 30 minutes, so the onion becomes nice and sweet.

Stir in the masala, fennel, coriander, peppercorns, cloves and bay leaves, fry for about 30 seconds, then add the apricots, wine and salt. Simmer very gently uncovered for about 20 minutes (or longer) until the flavour is just right; the wine reduces and the oil begins to thicken the sauce; don't rush things!

Add the vinegar and brown sugar. Check and adjust the flavour if necessary.

Set the oven at 200 °C. Pour sauce over the fish, cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Pierce with a fork to see if the fish is-nearly done; if not bake for 5 minutes more (cooking time depends on the oven and the baking dish, but remember that the fish will continue to cook as the sauce cools).

Cool completely, then cover and refrigerate for at least a day before serving.

To Serve: Offer as is, or serve on salad leaves with home-made mayonnaise. Serves 10 as a starter or light lunch

... andjoyohoxing