#19: Libya – Hraimeh

There is cod in there and it is cooked to perfection

I know a few home chefs that tend to shy away from cooking too much fish at home. For a long time, I was one of those chefs. I always feared under cooking the fish and as a result would overcook it. After a few years of continually pushing my boundaries on fish, I got to a point where I had mastered a few types: salmon, shrimp, and tilapia. Cod had continued to challenge me. I never seemed to quite get it right and was always less than thrilled with the results. I think some of that could be attributed to the quality of the cod I had been picking up at my local grocery store.

I decided it was time yet again to make cod and I chose this simple dish from Libya that cooks the fish in a combination of tomatoes and spices that resembles harissa. For this dish, I raised my fish game and got cod from Blacksalt in Georgetown, Matt’s parents’ go to fishmonger. I’ve always been pleased with what we got there, though I mainly stuck to the fish I knew how to make without issue. I used a thermometer to regularly monitor this fish and perhaps it was that, or the high quality, that made this dish an outstanding weeknight meal. It wasn’t overly ambitious but with good quality ingredients, it was something special. Recipe courtesy of my friend Johanna’s blog: http://www.notesfromamessykitchen.com/recipe/libya-hraimeh/

Overall Level of Effort: 2

Skill Level: Beginner

Would Make It Again? Yes

Additional Notes: This was a wonderfully flavorful dish for two on a weeknight. I’d recommend a nice quality fish and really monitoring the fish by thermometer to make sure you don’t under or overdo it. Given the red sauce, it can be really hard to tell by looks alone, so touching the fish with a spatula to see if it bounces back, as well as the temp, will go a long way in making this a memorable dish.

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