Sep 22, 2014

Foodie thoughts - Salmon with Chraimeh sauce

My husband bought the Jerusalem cookbook a year ago and I've been looking at this recipe for months and never got around to making it. The ingredients were'nt really that hard to find but it just looked like it was too taxing to make. But i knew eventually i was going to make it coz the photo in the book just looked so good. 

So one sunny day I decided I needed to make it because I couldnt find it in any restaurants in new york anyway. I went to Fairways (were I get most of my groceries) to pick up some of the ingredients I could'nt find in the supermarket in my neighborhood. Once I got everything together I was unstoppable in the kitchen. lol.

I basically followed everything on the book which can also be found on this link

Here is the full text: 

This recipe is from Jerusalem: A Cookbook.

Authors Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi write: “In Jerusalem, just as famous as gefilte fish is chraimeh, the ‘queen’ of all dishes for Tripolitan [Libyan] Jews... Families pride themselves on their particular chraimeh recipe. It showcases the true skills of the Tripolitan cook – and, with variations on this theme, of other North African cooks – evident in the texture of the sauce, its color, piquancy, and heat.”

Sea bass or any type of white fish can be used instead of the salmon.

“Chraimeh is served as a starter, warm or at room temperature, with challah for dipping, a slice of lemon, and a jug of water to calm the heat. This dish is easily reheated and the sauce is so tasty that you may want to double the amount so you have more for dipping the bread.”

Makes 4 servings 
110 ml. (scant 1⁄2 cup) sunflower oil 
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour salt and freshly ground black pepper 
4 salmon steaks, about 450 grams (1 pound) 
6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped 
2 tsp. sweet paprika 
1 tsp. caraway seeds, dry toasted and freshly ground 
1 1⁄2 tsp. ground cumin rounded 
1⁄4 tsp. cayenne pepper rounded 
1⁄4 tsp. ground cinnamon 
1 green chili (hot pepper), coarsely chopped 
2⁄3 cup water 
3 Tbsp. tomato paste 
2 tsp. sugar 
1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges, plus 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice 
2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped cilantro (fresh coriander) 

Heat 2 tablespoons sunflower oil over high heat in a large frying pan for which you have a lid. Place flour in a shallow bowl, season generously with salt and pepper, and toss fish in it. Shake off excess flour and sear fish for a minute or two on each side, until golden. Remove fish and wipe the pan clean.

Place garlic, spices, chili and 2 tablespoons oil in a food processor and blitz to form a thick paste. You might need to add a little more oil to bring everything together.

Pour remaining oil into the frying pan, heat well, and add the spice paste. Stir and fry for just 30 seconds, so that the spices don’t burn. Quickly but carefully (it may spit!) add the water and tomato paste to stop the spices from cooking.

Bring to a simmer and add the sugar, lemon juice, 3⁄4 teaspoon salt and some pepper. Taste for seasoning.

Put fish in sauce, bring to a gentle simmer, cover pan and cook for 7 to 11 minutes, depending on size of fish, until it is just done. Remove pan from heat, take off the lid, and leave to cool.

Serve fish just warm or at room temperature.

Garnish each serving with cilantro and a lemon wedge.

roasting the caraway seeds


Frying the salmon
spices and other ingredients
Fish and the chraimeh sauce
Finished product with Asparagus and Couscous:)
I am not trying to sound like an expert but the sauce was truly outstanding. Best of all the hubby said it was probably one of the best meals he has ever eaten. Restaurant quality. Yey mission accomplished. the guinea pig is happy.

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