I must have a thing about making food look like faces when I’m plating. I actually decided against one of the photos I took because it once again looked like a happy face. Maybe I just want my food to feel grateful to me for eating it? Weird.
And just for fun – here’s the one that looks at you:
Anyway, I participate in this fun blog carnival where every month she picks out a new country/region and we all cook a recipe from there. I am so on board for this because I love experimenting with new cuisines, spices, ingredients, etc.
So this month was the Middle East. My previous post, Middle Eastern (Baharat Marinated) Lamb Skewers was one result of the new challenge and last night’s fish meal was another.
When I was researching some of the different spices I noticed that ras el hanout, which mean best of the best, or best of the shop, often came up as being used in dishes. It’s basically a blend of the “best” spices and there’s a variety of different versions out there. I went to Colonel De at Findley Market and just bought it from there so I could actually try it and understand its characteristics.
My thoughts – it’s a very sort of ‘warming’ spice mix and reminds me of garam masala or five spice although with a different flavor profile. But it definitely gives that sort of savory feeling with the lightest note of sweet (probably from the cinnamon and others like lavender).
Towards the bottom of the post is a bonus recipe for baked green tomatoes. Why did I choose to serve this meal with that as a side? Because I needed to use up the ones I got in my CSA of course! And oh my gosh, I’ve never had them before and I am now officially obsessed. My husband and I have pretty much decided that we can never try them actually fried because a new addiction could easily be born. And bonus! They tasted amazing after being dipped in the harissa tartar sauce.
A note on the harissa – you can either buy or make it. Here’s a few resources:
- Go to your local Mediterranean or Middle Eastern store
- Buy it online from Amazon
- Homemade Version 1
- Homemade Version 2
Ok, ok so it’s not the most nutritionally balanced meal out there but I’ve covered my fruit, lean protein, whole grain, dairy and healthy fat so there! The only thing really missing was a veggie and that could have been easily remedied by a side salad. I didn’t go the side salad option because it was alot of food and figured we could also snack on some carrots or celery later.
Total success! My husband ate all four of his and one of mine (I was way too full to finish my plate) which is kind of a big deal since he usually never willingly eats anything I might have left on my plate fish-wise. And I’ve already waxed poetic of my new found love for green tomatoes.
So it’s not the fanciest meal around, but it’s a definite solid weeknight option.