The Fish Society‘s headquarters are directly beside a cake factory, which is a very handy feature for a fishmonger in need of a sugar boost. On just such a mission last week, Claire, the owner of the cake place, turned out to be in need of a fish boost.
She was after some decent hake for a tagine dish she had made for dinner with friends. James sorted her out in no time (“We had the perfect item Chris, huge boneless steaks…” yeah yeah yeah). He took this photo of the tagine before the hake went in. Makes you want to eat, doesn’t it?
If you’re familiar with Moroccan food, you’ll be aware that the tagine is a staple dish of North Africa. Usually, a fish tagine is made with grouper, but this can be replaced with sea bass or hake or many other kinds of large fish. Named after the traditional earthenware pot in which it is made, the tagine – always infused with garlic, cumin and paprika – is a fine culinary experience, whichever fish is used.
James said Claire was taking her recipe from one of his favourite cook books – that of the well-known Moro restaurant in North London. He says this book contains one of his favourite pictures – a photo of a penniless fish-seller in a pin-stripe suit with a yoke over his shoulders dangling two huge baskets of sardines.”He reminds me of me,” says James. [Really? Another entry there, perhaps.]