Braised Halibut With Roasted Cherry Tomatoes And Tahini (Chraime)

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Braised Halibut With Roasted Cherry Tomatoes And Tahini (Chraime)

Photo by Aubrie Pick, courtesy of Penguin Random House.

Eden Grinshpan's version of this North African fish stew begins with ripe tomatoes, peppers, and spices, and is brightened up with dry white wine. 


Ingredients

  • 2 bunches cherry tomatoes , on the vine (or 2 cups)
  • 5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil , plus more for serving
  • kosher salt , and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large yellow onion , finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper , finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 tbsp harissa paste , store-bought or homemade
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 6 medium tomatoes , chopped
  • 6 halibut fillets , (4 to 5 ounces each), or other white, flaky fish such as striped bass, sea bass, or cod, skinned
  • Garlicky Tahini
  • Chopped fresh herbs , such as basil and dill

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season well with salt and roast until charred and bursting, about 15 minutes.
  2. In a large, deep skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, harissa, sweet paprika, turmeric, and smoked paprika and cook for 1 minute. Add the white wine and use your spoon to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Let the mixture simmer for 2 more minutes, then reduce heat to medium-low. Add the chopped tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to break down and start to resemble a sauce, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the lid and cook until slightly reduced, another 10 minutes.
  3. Check the sauce for seasoning and increase the heat to a simmer. Let it reduce until it’s thickened slightly, about 5 minutes, which will make it more flavorful and help it cling to the fish. Place the halibut in the pan, making sure to spoon sauce over the fish. Cover and simmer until the fish is no longer translucent in the middle and the flesh is flaky, 6 to 8 minutes.
  4. Serve right in the pan with the garlicky tahini drizzled over it and topped with the roasted cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs, and additional olive oil.

This North African dish, known as chraime (pronounced chr-eye-may) is inspired by a simple but rich dish traditionally made by Sephardic Jews. Eden Grinshpan’s version begins with a flavourful base with juicy ripe tomatoes, peppers, and spices for braising flaky halibut, and is brightened up with dry white wine.

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