I have really been neglecting this blog of mine over the last few weeks. It just seems a combination of sick children; cold weather and life in general have been getting in the way of all my good intentions of cooking and blogging! Enough excuses though…..
I took a trip down to the Rabat Medina yesterday with my youngest and a friend to go to the fish market. Rabat never feels like a typical coastal town and it is often easy to forget that we are right by the seaside. Fish is a common feature on most menus in Morocco, often served simply fried in a light batter or in a tagine.
Thursday is carpet souk in the Medina with woman bringing in their wares for auction to the local salesman. It seems to be a complicated system run by a gentleman who walks around in a coat with a lot of shouting going on, as you would expect at an auction. It is one of those times that I really wish I could understand more Arabic to make sense of what exactly it is that goes on. The color of the carpets are just such a feast for the eyes and no matter how many times I walk past there it still seems so exciting! Thank goodness the temptation to buy every carpet I see has been brought under control, more by the lack of financial means than my self control!
The fish market was fairly quiet today and not much produce in. Weekends are a far better time to go, but I did manage to pick up some odds and ends and a kilogram of sardines for about US $1.30 per kilogram, and they fillet them for you on the spot.
Sardines are a very popular fish in Morocco and are fairly inexpensive year round. Eating sardines always reminds me of being on holiday! We love them and getting them ready cleaned and filleted is just an extra bonus. I have been wanting to do stuffed sardines for ages after seeing the Sardines stuffed with Bulgar, Currants and Pistachios in the Ottolenghi Cookbook, but felt a bit lazy today so I did these layered in a pie dish with the stuffing on top. It was delicious.
500g filleted sardines (you could also use whole), lightly seasoned with salt and pepper
¼ cup bread crumbs (I used a Japanese type, but you could use ciabatta or similar)
2 Tbs Olive Oil + little extra
Zest of 1 orange and the juice of same orange
½ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1 Tbs crushed garlic
2 Tbs pine nuts
Preheat oven to 220°C
Mix all the topping ingredients together.
Sprinkle a drizzle of olive oil on the base of a glass dish
Layer the sardine fillets in the dish and sprinkle the topping over.
Cook in the preheated oven for about 5-7 minutes, place under the grill for a few seconds to brown if you wish.
This will serve 4 adults as a starter portion.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone.