Tuesday was the celebration of the Islamic New Year, and here in Tunis that pretty much means that State Run operations such as banks and the post office are closed… and thats about it. Luckily for myself and my classmates this meant that we had a day off uni! One of my colleagues Belal suggested we take this day off to check out the local fishing scene, and after a tip off from a dodgy local we looked at catching a bus up to Bizerte for a day of fishing. Luckily for us, my next door neighbour here in Tunis pointed us in the direction of Le Goulette for some fishing (literally 5 minutes away). We picked up some bargain rods, and a local (Atef) gave us a lift to a fishing spot in the Ancient city of Carthage. Belal and if set up camp and spent the day under the shade of a palm tree fishing and practising arabic with one of the presidents bodyguards who had come over to chat to us. Unfortunately our only success was catching a “Bouri”, making a few friends (including the Presidents Bodyguard) and getting a tan.
Knowing full well that this fish would not feed 5 at home, i picked up a few of another local fish(Doaud) at the market. Here is the simplest of ways to prepare such a delicate white fish. (in Aus things like snapper, whiting and flathead would go perfectly)
4 Fillets of fish
3 cups cooked lentils (canned or homemade)
1 large carrot chopped finely
4 shallots chopped finely
1 bunch parsley
1 tbsp unsalted butter
tbsp chopped dill
1 large cucumber – skinned, seeded and julienned
2 tsp sugar
1/2 clove garlic pureed
tsp olive oil
juice of a lemon
1. For the lentils in a large pot add the lentils, carrots and onions. Add all of the parsley except a handful of leaves. Cover with water and bring to the boil
2. Switch off and allow to cool.
3. For the fish heat the butter in a large pan and add the fillets. Cook for 3-4 minutes on the one side (this side should go nice and golden).
4. Add the dill and juice of half the lemon. Turn the fillets and remove from the heat.
5. For the water Vinagrette combine the garlic, 2 tbsp hot water, sugar, juice of half a lemon and the olive oil. Mix well
6. To prepare the cucumber simply drop the julienned strips into boiling water for 1 minute and then refresh under cold water. Set aside.
7. To serve, drain the lentils and add the vinagrette and reserved parsley leaves. Serve the Lentils with the cucumber and pan fried fish.