Turbot with Harissa Sauce

Posted in Food, Recipes by Elizabeth on April 4, 2011

I’m not very good at spicy food. I’d like to be better, but I cannot help that I am unaccustomed to the heat having grown up eating food that was seasoned mostly with the most mild of mild heats (ground black pepper anyone?). I think there are a number of Forneys out there who share my experience. This is not to say, however, that I dislike spicy food. I love it actually. It is frustrating when you take a bite of something that you really enjoy and then BAM, the heat hits, your tongue is tingling, your lips crave water, your palette is ruined, and you’ve barely started dinner.

I have a solution for my unaccustomed mouth. For a few years now I have been working on eating hotter and hotter food on a regular basis (starting at just about mild).

As a part of this schooling, I made this turbot with harissa sauce. If you haven’t had harissa, be advised that it contains hot peppers, like serrano, seeds and all. A North African spice, also usually has cumin, lemon juice, garlic, and coriander. I picked up a premade container of it at my local store. A dish as tasty as this one does nothing but encourage spicy food eating behavior.

Turbot with Harissa Sauce

  • 1 part harissa
  • 2 parts plain greek yogurt
  • juice of a lemon
  • cumin
  • salt
  • turbot filets

Combine the harissa, yogurt, lemon, cumin, and salt and mix until blended. Spread the sauce over the top of the filets and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. After ten minutes, scrape off the sauce, reserving it for later. Over medium-high heat, sear the fish on either side, about 2-3 minutes each side. Transfer the fish to an oven safe baking dish. Redress the fish with the harissa sauce and bake for 5-6 minutes, until the fish is white and flaky. Serve.

I found couscous and cumin seasoned sauteed leeks and kidney beans to be a great compliment to the fish. The crisp leeks pair well with the fish while the beans serve as a spice absorber for those moments when my mouth has just about had enough. Enjoy!


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