Spiced Snapper on Citrus & Mint Couscous
This dish builds on a recipe my friend Damian gave me a couple of years ago. I was working with him on a function for the annual Melbourne Cup horse race. We had had some problems with suppliers not delivering on time and as such were behind the eight ball with our prep all morning.
It was now 12 noon and I recall nervously saying to Damo, “Here come the customers and we haven’t even got half the prep done. I’ve still got to cook the couscous, I haven’t even got the chicken Kievs let alone stuffed them.”
Damian calmly replied, “Pass me that orange juice. I’ll make the couscous and you run across the road to the Thai restaurant and tell them you’ll buy some chicken off them. If they complain, tell them I sent you.” Damian was on very good terms with them being their best customer.
So I ran across the road and by the time I got back, Damian was tossing fresh mint through the couscous and putting the last bits and pieces together. After our hugely successful lunch (just barely), I asked Damian how he managed to cook then cool the couscous so fast.
He said he didn’t even cook it. He just steeped it in the orange juice and it cooked it for him! Ever since, I have used his simple little technique at many a barbecue and dinner party. I trust you will as well once you taste the result and appreciate the ease.
Spiced Snapper on Citrus and Mint Couscous
- 1.5 cups couscous
- 1.5 cups orange juice
- 1/2 orange peeled, segmented, and chopped
- 1/2 fl oz vodka lemon peeled, segmented, and chopped
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1 handful mint leaves chopped
- 1 handful coriander leaves chopped
- Olive oil extra virgin
- Sea salt flakes
- Black pepper freshly ground
- Preheat the oven to 180 (350 Fahrenheit).
- Place all the spices for the fish into a mortar (alternatively a food processor), add a few good pinches of sea salt, and a few rounds of pepper.
- Crush all the ingredients into a powder.
- Pat dry the fish filets and rub liberal amounts on both sides of the snapper.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the cold orange juice with the couscous and allow to stand 10-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile sear the fish in some extra virgin olive oil in a non stick fry pan over high heat, approx 2 mins per side, depending on thickness of fish.
- Transfer the fish to the oven for approx 8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, fluff the couscous with a fork, add the citrus fruit, raisins, chopped herbs, a drizzle of olive oil and season to taste.
- Remove the fish from the oven and serve with the couscous. Definitely a white wine combination.
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