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Tajin Samak (Moroccan Oven-Poached Fish with Cilantro)

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This is one of numerous recipes devised by fish-loving Moroccan cooks.

Ingredients

1 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup chopped scallions
½ cup lemon juice
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons paprika
Salt and pepper
Pinch of cayenne
1 (3- to 4-pound) whole fish such as red snapper, sea bass, striped bass, or trout, cleaned but head and tail intact
4 medium tomatoes, sliced
3 medium potatoes, sliced
2 medium carrots, sliced
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup water


Instructions

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (190 C).

2.  Combine the cilantro, scallions, lemon juice, garlic, paprika, salt, pepper, and cayenne.  Stuff half of the cilantro mixture into the fish and secure with toothpicks.  Place the fish in a baking dish large enough to fit it and spread the remaining cilantro mixture over top.  Cover with the tomatoes, potatoes, and carrots.  Drizzle with the oil, then add the water.

3.  Cover the pan, place in the oven, and bake until done (about 35 minutes for 3 pounds; 45 minutes for 4 pounds).  Remove from the oven and let stand in the cooking liquid for 15 minutes.  Serve warm or cold.  Garnish with lemon slices and parsley sprigs.

NOTE – Use a 5-pound fish for 6 to 8 servings.

This is one of numerous recipes devised by fish-loving Moroccan cooks.