Lebanese Baked grey Mullet with Coriander and nut Stuffing
Lebanese fish: I love this Lebanese stuffing of coriander garlic and nuts which goes so well with grey mullet.
It appears in her book Lebanese Cuisine (grub Street), essential for anyone interested in the cooking of the Middle East.
One small word of warning-rinse the coriander thoroughly under the cold tap to make sure that all grit has been washed away.
It is with food that the Lebanese express hospitality and the sharing of meals plays a large part in the Lebanese way of life.
Cooking in Lebanon is an intricate inherited artist inseparable from the history and traditions of its people.
A typical Lebanese meal is not a three-course affair based around a plate of meat and vegetables.
Instead, diners are offering a variety of small dishes from which to help themselves.
You would surprise how much grit and grime lurks among those innocent-looking leaves and,
if you donât wash it out, you will only discover it too late, as you take your first mouthful of stuffing.
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- 1.5kg (1 Â¼ lb) grey mullet, or 2*900g (2 lb) grey mullet, scaled the cleaned
- For the stuffing:
- 1 head of garlic
- olive oil
- 60g (2 oz) pine nuts
- 60g (2 oz) shelled walnuts
- 1 heaped teaspoon coriander seeds
- leaves of 2 bunches of fresh coriander, finely chopped
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 plum tomatoes, de-seeded and finely diced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- juice of 1-2 lemons
- Â½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 8 small firm tomatoes, to take leftover stuffing salt and pepper
- To make the stuffing, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Place the head of garlic in an oiled small, shallow dish and drizzle over a teaspoon of olive oil.
- Add 3 tablespoons of water. Roast for an hour, until tender. While it is cooking, dry-fry the pine nuts, walnuts and coriander seeds over medium heat for a few minutes, to toast them. Leave to cool.
- Drop them into a food processor and grind in short bursts, so that they are still slightly knobbly. When the garlic is done, squeeze the roasted garlic out of the individual skins into a bowl with the nuts.
- Add the coriander leaves, onion, tomatoes, cumin, lemon juice to taste, cayenne, salt, pepper and about 8 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix thoroughly.
- Cut lids off the top of the small tomatoes, scope out the insides with a spoon, then season with salt and leave upside-down on a rack to drain for at least 20 minutes.
- Reduce the oven to 180C/350F/ Gas Mark 4. Fill the fish with the stuffing and either sew up with thick thread or secure with wooden cocktail sticks or metal skewers.
- Place the fish in an oiled baking dish. Scatter about 2 tablespoons of the remaining stuffing over the fish, then fill the tomatoes with the least of the stuffing.
- Bake the fish for about 30-40 minutes, until just cooked through, adding the tomatoes after 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.