Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sayoudeiah: Lebanese Fried Fish With Tarator Sauce And Rice

This dinner was a split decision.  I liked it somewhat and thought it was good enough to try and fix the issues we had with it.  My son loved the fish, but my husband didn't.  My husband thought the rice was the star, the carbohydrate kid, not so much.  The little girl liked the fish too.  I loved that this recipe was a real challenge on the ingredient guessing game.  The boy beat the husband by one.  I will admit when it came to the spice blend, I gave hints;).  I just want to advocate again that the ingredient guessing game is a great meal time activity.  It can be played by any age, it's fun (really it is, not just for food geeks:) and connects the diner with the meal and the process of cooking it. Ok back to the meal...
It was a bit of a laborious pain.  The pomegranate molasses took way longer thant AB said it would in his recipe.  You can buy it, but why? It's $$$$ and hard to find.  I did it the day before.  I didn't make my own thahini but other than that, I followed the recipe.  I am hoping my other recipe using the molasses turns out better.  If you are wanting to try it, I would next time, lightly dust the fillets with the spice mixture and then flour.  It was light on seasoning the way the recipe says to do it.

Sayoudeiah: Lebanese Fried Fish With Tarator Sauce And Rice

1/2 c  tahini,recipe follows
1/4    to 1/2 cup water
2    to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 t  minced garlic
1/2 t  salt
1/2 t  ground cumin
Pinch cayenne
2 T  chopped parsley
Fried Fish
1/4 t  ground black pepper
1/4 t  ground ginger
1/4 t  ground cumin
1/4 t  allspice
1/4 t  cinnamon
1/4 t  ground cloves
1/4 t  grated nutmeg
1/4 t  ground fenugreek
1/2    to 1 cup olive or canola oil
3 T  pine nuts
1 1/2 c  thinly sliced yellow onions
1 t  salt
1/2 t  turmeric
1 1/2 c  long grain white rice
3 c  water
1/2 c  all-purpose flour
4    (6-ounce) mild,firm white fish fillets
Chopped fresh parsley garnish
Pomegranate molasses
Chili oil
Lemon wedges,garnish

For the tarator: Place the tahini, 1/4 cup water, 2 tablespoons lemon
juice, the garlic, salt, cumin, and cayenne in a blender and process on
high speed. With the machine running, continue adding more water 1 to 2
tablespoons at a time until it becomes a smooth sauce with the
consistency of mayonnaise. Add the parsley and process to incorporate.
Adjust seasoning, to taste, with additional lemon juice or spices.
Transfer to another container.
For the Fried fish: In a small bowl, combine the black pepper, ginger,
cumin, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and fenugreek. Stir to
In a medium pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat.
Add the pine nuts and cook, stirring, until golden brown and fragrant.
Remove with a slotted spoon. Add the onions and fry, stirring, until
golden. Add the rice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, turmeric, and 1/4 teaspoon of
the mixed spices. Cook, stirring, until fragrant and the rice is coated
with oil, 1 minute. Add the water. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and
simmer without stirring until the water is absorbed and the rice is
fluffy, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit without
stirring for 10 minutes. While the rice is cooking, cook the fish.
In a large saute pan, heat enough oil to come 1/2-inch up the sides of
the pan over high heat until hot but not smoking.
In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, remaining spice blend, and
remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Dredge the fish fillets in the seasoned
flour to coat on both sides, shaking to remove any excess. Add to the
hot oil in batches, if necessary, and cook until golden brown, about 2
minutes per side, shaking the pan to prevent the fish from sticking.
Remove and drain on paper towels.
Fluff the rice with a fork and add the fried pine nuts, stirring to
incorporate. Divide among 4 plates and top with the fish. Spoon the
sauce over the fish, garnish with parsley and drizzle with pomegranate
molasses and chili oil. Serve with lemon wedges, and serve immediately.

Homemade Tahini:
4 cups sesame seeds
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread the sesame seeds on a shallow baking tray and bake, shaking
frequently, until fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes. Do not brown. Cool. Put the
sesame seeds in a blender or food processor fitted with the metal blade.
Add 1/4 cup of the vegetable oil. Process to a smooth paste, about 3
minutes. Add more oil as necessary to bring the paste to a thick
pouring consistency. (Tahini will keep, refrigerated, in a tightly
covered container for several months.)
Yield: approximately 4 cups

Pomegranate Molasses
4 c  pomegranate juice
1/2 c  sugar
1 T  freshly squeezed lemon juice

Place the pomegranate juice, sugar and lemon juice in a 4-
quart saucepan set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally,
until the sugar has completely dissolved. Once the sugar has dissolved,
reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the mixture has reduced to
1 cup, approximately 70 minutes. It should be the consistency of thick
syrup. Remove from the heat and allow to cool in the saucepan for 30
minutes. Transfer to a glass jar and allow to cool completely before
covering and storing in the refrigerator for up to 6 months

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