The Iranian Bazaar comes to Lebanon once a year for a week, and I try not to miss it. First of all, it is fun, it takes place in the basement of the former Holiday Inn and gets lots of traffic. Some stands are more popular than others like the nuts and spices or the rugs, displayed in hundreds. Last time, I saw a rug with the face of a popular pop artist (as well as one with the Virgin Mary) and when I asked I was told to just bring a photo and a rug could be produced in my image. What a great idea for a gift for the narcissist in the family!
Anyway, it was the occasion to stock-up on good quality saffron, since saffron is not that easy to find in Beirut and most often than not, comes in powder form, which is the lowest quality anyway.
This is a good Summer dish, the fish (any fish or fillet) should be seasoned lightly, oiled and grilled, then brushed with the saffron marinade at regular intervals.
If saffron is not in your pantry, you can substitute sumac or turmeric or cumin. Anything works with fish.
Grilled fish in saffron sauce
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Passive Time: 10 minutes
4 fishes any type, whole can substitute fillets, such as catfish or swordfish
1/2 cup vegetable oil walnut oil would be nice
1 pinch saffron in filaments soaked in 1/4 cup hot water for 10 minutes prior
1 teaspoon sea salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon white pepper can substitute other spices like cumin or sumac
1/2 cup tomato sauce or 1 tbsp tomato paste or ketchup
1 large lemon or lime quartered
1. Heat the grill till very hot. Season the fish (already cleaned and gutted) and brush with oil. Brush the grill with oil prior to grilling the fish on it to keep it from sticking. Grill the fish 3 minutes on each side, brushing with the sauce every 15 seconds. Serve hot with lemon or lime quarters.
2. In a small bowl, mix all the sauce ingredients, adding more tomato sauce or spices to taste. Keep a brush nearby to use when coating the fish with the sauce.
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