Juliana's Cod in Charmoula Sauce

Juliana Garay

Proofreading Manager

Charmoula is a Moroccan fish marinade traditionally made with tomatoes, lemon, paprika, garlic, cumin and cilantro. I stumbled upon this recipe online (I think at Epicurious.com) about 15 years ago. I wasn’t looking for a particular recipe at the time, but I was intrigued by the sauce (I always have cilantro in my refrigerator, so that was covered) and decided to immediately buy the remaining ingredients.

Over the years, I’ve made this a lot for friends and family with consistent (and excellent) results. The sauce is simple to make but it has such a complex, exotic flavor that impresses everyone!

Listen along to Juliana's favorite playlist as you cook

I always listen to Latin music when I cook. It’s my favorite type of music and when I cook, it keeps me in happy spirits and makes it seem like a party. One of my favorite playlists is Salsa Classics on Spotify.

How to Make Cod in Charmoula Sauce

Fish and Vegetables:

1 pound medium red boiling potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 green and yellow bell peppers, cut into ¼-inch-wide strips
2 medium tomatoes, cut crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices
3 pounds haddock or cod fillets, skinned and cut into 6 pieces
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Charmoula Sauce:

½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
¹⁄₃ cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne
½ cup olive oil

To make the fish and vegetables: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Prick each potato once with a fork, then rub potatoes with ½ tablespoon oil. Roast on a baking sheet in middle of oven until just tender, about 25 minutes. Cool to room temperature and cut crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices. Leave oven on.

Heat remaining 1 ½ tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté bell peppers, stirring, until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes.

Spread potato slices evenly in an oiled 13-by-9-by-2-inch glass baking dish and season with salt and pepper. Top with peppers, then tomatoes and fish, seasoning each layer with salt and pepper. Sprinkle fish with lemon juice.

To make the Charmoula Sauce: Puree all sauce ingredients except oil in a food processor or blender. With motor running, add oil in a slow stream. Pour sauce evenly over fish and bake in middle of oven until fish is just cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes.

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