Cinnamon-Spiced Fish Tagine with Raisins and Capers

5 years ago

mahi, australis barramundi, morrocan fish, tagine, sweet and salty,

I do blogging kind of like I do laundry.

Are you ready for this? You sure?

The fact is I'm not very good at doing laundry. You see, we have the "general" pile: socks, PJs, gym clothes, pretty much anything I don't really care about separating. That gets thrown in the hamper and my darling husband takes care of it. Unlike me, he's pretty good at laundry.

And then there's "my" laundry. Sweaters and jeans that get piled up on my bedroom floor, until I start tripping over it. Inevitably at some point I'll *almost* twist my ankle, so then I'll suck it up and move the pile to a basket in the laundry room.

Which just so happens to be five steps from our bedroom. Yup, we're those kind of lucky ducks who have the laundry room upstairs. You'd think this would make things easier for me.

Fast forward a few weeks when I've had *nothing* to wear for the past two weeks, and I'll finally throw in a load.

And forget, for no less than 32 hours, to move the "clean" clothes to the drying rack.

I told you it was bad.

Then the clothes get re-washed (because I have this not-so-sneaking suspicion that damp clothes get dirty again after sitting for over a day in the washer) and finally hung. But first I need to empty the drying rack from the previous load; that's been sitting there a good six weeks. Naturally, these don't get put on hangers, but rather, on the guest bed. And ultimately, when he really can't stand it, that darling husband of mine steps in and puts my clothes away for me.

He's a keeper.

So where was I going with this? Well, I'm currently trying to work my way through a pile of draft blog posts, pulling together the pictures and words to go with each title and recipe. And it's taking me just about as long as it does for a sweater to get back into my closet after being pulled on my body. Longer, actually.

And here's another thing they have in common. Just like uncovering the buried fashion treasures in my laundry pile ("OMG! I totally forgot I had this!"), sifting through the draft stash can elicit the same excitement. And that's pretty much how I felt about re-discovering this Moroccan-inspired fish dish. I quickly recalled how delicious it was—tender, meaty barramundi accented with warm cinnamon, tangy capers and sweet raisins. Totally made my day.

A few notes about this recipe: You can use any type of white fish, but I'd urge you to try something other than tilapia. Sure, tilapia is well-liked due to its low cost, wide availability, and mild taste that plays to its versatility and makes it a highly recommended first foray into seafood for non-fish eaters. But why do you think it's so cheap, so available, and so, well, lacking in flavor? Due to farming practices, of course. Tilapia are easy to mass-produce because they eat pretty much anything, which means farmers can get away with feeding them a lesser quality diet that is certainly not like what they'd eat in the wild. Unfortunately this results in a fish containing minimal amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and elevated levels of omega-6 fatty acids, which is not a very healthy combination if you're trying to eat more fish to improve heart-health.

Instead, I'll offer up my two favorite choices for white fish; both have great flavor and are environmentally-friendly, sustainable choices. Try wild-caught mahi-mahi. Wild-caught fish are preferable to farm-raised fish because this means that the fish was raised on its natural diet, but not all wild fish are caught through sustainable, eco-friendly practices. Mahi-mahi, when produced in the US, is an environmentally-sound choice. It's not a top choice for omega-3 content, but is is low in calories and overall fat, which makes it a nice piece of a healthy diet.

Another great choice is barramundi, also known as the "better fish." A company called Australis produces and distributes most of the barramundi in the US using sustainable, clean practices. Barramundi is a unique choice of white fish in that it contains omega-3 levels comparable to wild Coho salmon, but with lower calories and fat, like other lean white fish. Some say it's the next "superfood," and I have to agree!

We served this fish tagine with steamed cauli-rice sprinkled with cinnamon, which we really enjoy as a grain-alternative.

barramundi, mahi, sweet and sour fish

Cinnamon-Spiced Fish Tagine with Raisins and Capers

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon capers, drained
1 tablespoon raisins
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 6oz pieces firm white fish, such as mahi mahi or barramundi
pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon lemon zest


In a heavy, oven-proof skillet over medium heat, cook ginger, paprika, and cumin for 1 minute, until fragrant. Stir in oil, tomatoes, capers, raisins and cinnamon. Simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes.

Pat the fish dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Nestle the fish into the tomato sauce, cover, and simmer until the fish is cooked through, about 7-10 minutes depending on thickness.

Stir in lemon zest, and serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts:

Amount Per Serving
Calories 267.7
Total Fat 8.6 g
Saturated Fat 1.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat 5.1 g
Cholesterol 121.6 mg
Sodium 455.6 mg
Potassium 93.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate 14.6 g
Dietary Fiber 3.8 g
Sugars 10.3 g
Protein 33.5 g

Cara Lyons,

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