Morrocan Spice Trout
I have to admit it took me a lot longer than some to fall in love with fish. As a child my parents introduced me to all foods and ingredients but as much as I wanted to like fish I just couldn’t. I’m not sure if it was the taste or just the idea of it. My mom often tells the story about how I could catch a fish in the lake at the cottage, clean it and cook it happily. But wouldn’t eat it. It’s hard to even imagine now as I LOVE FISH and love how great it is for us. Like chicken, organic trout has qualities in taste and texture that you will easily notice. Do yourself a favour and seek out Blue Goose Organic or Natural Trout.
Moroccan food is a wonderful pungent flavour of saffron, paprika, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, nutmeg and coriander…it smells as delicious cooking, as it does to eat. Morocco is such a short distance from Europe, sitting on the northern tip of the African Continent, with so many influences in their food from the Mediterranean, the middle east, Spain, Africa and Portugal, that it’s no surprise that it has a depth of flavour unlike any other place.
I was lucky enough to travel to Morocco a few years ago while travelling in Spain. It was an incredible experience that I won’t soon forget. We were staying in the South of Spain and decided to go to Morocco for a couple of days. We drove along the coast, past Gibraltar, along the cadiz-malaga hwy, to the town of Tarifa. There we caught a ferry across the Straight of Gibraltar to Tangier. It was so beautiful on the water, almost so much that I didn’t want to get off the ferry. The people were fascinating and culture unlike anything I could have imagined. I loved walking through the markets and tasting EVERYTHING. The olives were so abundant and incredible…as I walked and soaked them in with both my eyes and mouth lol.
We watched men tame snakes, road camels and had an authentic meal, belly dancers and all. The smells, sights and sounds leave you mesmerized and wanting more. Morocco is the reason I travel, to experience life very unlike my own.
Traditionally this spice rub would be with chicken or beef, the two main proteins in Morocco, pork is against Muslim culture, but I love pairing it with a meaty fish like trout.
- 2 Tbs. sweet paprika (preferably Hungarian)
- 1 tsp. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne
- 4 (6-8oz) trout fillets with skin
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 8 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 heaping tablespoons dried cranberries
- 4 heaping tablespoons dried apricots, sliced
- 4 heaping tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
- 1.5 cup basmati, cooked according to directions on container
- 12 thick asparagus spears, trim ends and peel lower half
- 4 large pieces of parchment paper
- For rub: In a small bowl, stir together all the ingredients. Cover the bowl. Store in an airtight container or Ziploc bag, the spice rub will keep at room temperature for up to six months.
- Place squash on a cookie sheet and toss in 4 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of spice mixture. Bake at 450 degrees for 30 min.
- Rub fillets with spice mixture, mostly on the flesh with a small amount on skin. Using a fry pan (not non-stick) place 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter, place 2 fillets flesh side first in pan and cook for 4 min. Flip fish and cook for another 3 min. Repeat with the second 2 fillets.
- Place 1/4 of basmati rice in 1 large size piece of parchment paper. Place fish over rice, place ¼ of squash, 1 tablespoon cranberries, 1 tablespoon apricots and 1 tablespoon almonds. Place 3 asparagus spears on top or to the side. Wrap the parchment paper from the sides first and then the ends to make a sealed pouch.
- Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 20 min. Serve immediately.