Sweet potatoes, red bell pepper, and chickpeas blend with strips of sea bass in a highly seasoned tomato broth. This satisfying mélange is ladled over a mound of steaming couscous to make a complete meal in one dish.
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2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 onion, cut into thin slices
1 red bell pepper, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 quart canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree
3/4 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cups water
1 1/3 cups couscous
2 cups drained canned chickpeas, rinsed (from one 19-ounce can)
1 pound sea-bass fillets, skinned, cut into approximately 3/4-by-1 1/2-inch
How to Make It
In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 4 minutes. Stir in the paprika, coriander, cayenne, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Add the broth, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes. Simmer until the potatoes are almost tender, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring the water and 3/4 teaspoon of the salt to a boil. Stir in the couscous. Cover, remove from the heat, and let sit for 5 minutes.
Stir the chickpeas, fish, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt into the sweet-potato mixture. Simmer until the fish is just done, about 4 minutes. Serve the fish and vegetables over the couscous. Ladle the liquid over the top.
Fish Alternatives Skinless red snapper, black cod, and tilefish fillets would all be good with this couscous.
The earthy but exotic flavors here invite a cold bottle of Rosé. Look for one from Provence in southern France, or, if you like a bit of sweetness, try a White Zinfandel from California.
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