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Cooking Without Fire - Spicy Moroccan Crudo

Cooking Without Fire - Spicy Moroccan Crudo

Shared by Rinat Tzadok
Recipe Roots: Recipe Roots: Ouazzane, Morocco > Hadera, Israel > Tel Aviv, Israel

We already know that  Rinat Tzadok, The Jewish Food Society’s cook-in-residence, draws heavily on her Moroccan-Israeli heritage. The recipe she shared last Shabbat for spicy fish stew was taught to her by her Moroccan aunt, Mesodi Hamo, at her home in Israel. For Rinat, these traditional dishes are meant not only to be preserved and cherished—they’re also used as jumping off points. In this week’s recipe, the warm, slow-cooked dish gets a smart makeover. Rinat has created a raw fish crudo that uses the same main ingredients as her family’s stew—sweet and hot peppers, garlic, cilantro, and firm, white fish—but is much friendlier for summer. 

For the crudo, Rinat forgoes fire altogether, opting to cut raw fish into thin slices that melt in your mouth. She serves them in a pool of olive oil and lemon juice, and scatters cilantro, sliced hot pepper, and tomato seeds on top. A dab of harissa adds extra heat, and you most definitely want some bread to sop up the juices. The recipe invites improvisation, too. In a recent rendition, she added a handful of ground cherries. But at its core, this crudo captures the flavors and spirit of her family recipe in the guise of a cool, light meal.

Spicy Moroccan Crudo

Photo by Dave Katz

Photo by Dave Katz

Serves: 4-6
Time: 45 minutes

½ lb. sushi grade tuna, sliced into ¼” strips
½ lb. sushi grade red snapper, sliced into ¼” strips
1 red bell pepper, roasted
1 poblano pepper, roasted
4 teaspoons harissa
seeds from 6-8 cherry tomatoes
4 cloves garlic confit (see recipe below)
1 Lemon, very thinly sliced, cut into small triangles
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
lemon juice, from ½ a lemon
¼ cup cilantro leaves
½ teaspoon maldon sea salt

1. Prepare the peppers: roast the bell and poblano pepper over the open flame of your gas stove (if you don’t have a gas stove you can use the broiler) until blackened on all sides, about 8-10 minutes. Place the peppers in a plastic bag to cool. Peel and seed each pepper and slice into strips ¼” wide by 1” long. Place the roasted bell pepper in a small bowl and mix with a ¼ cup of olive oil and ⅛ teaspoon of salt (set poblano pepper aside).
2. Assemble and layer ingredients (think of it like a mini-art project!): on a medium platter, begin by arranging a mix of tuna and snapper pieces about one inch apart from each other. Dab the harissa around the fish in 8 equal portions measuring a ½ teaspoon each. Cut cherry tomatoes in half and squeeze seeds evenly across the plate. Break up the cloves of garlic confit and evenly distribute over the fish. Scatter 12-14 slices of red pepper, 6-8 slices of poblano pepper and 8-10 lemon slices around the plate. 
3. To finish, spoon olive oil over the fish, top with the juice of ½ a fresh squeezed lemon, cilantro leaves and maldon sea salt.

Garlic Confit

1 head of garlic
½ cup extra virgin olive oil

1. Peel the garlic cloves and place in a small saucepan.
2. Cover with olive oil and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of salt.
3. Cook on low heat for 30-45 minutes, until garlic is soft and tender but not falling apart.
4. Transfer the garlic to a clean jar and pour olive oil over the cloves. Let cool and then seal with an airtight lid.

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