toasted couscous, fennel vinaigrette, blood orange, almond
We will start by toasting the almonds and couscous. Spread couscous flat on a baking tray and bake at 375 degrees until light brown, about 10 minutes. Toss almonds with olive oil and salt and pepper, spread on a baking tray and bake 7-10 minutes until golden brown. In a saucepan, sauté mixed vegetables for the couscous in olive oil until fragrant, but not brown. Add vegetable stock, spices, and toasted couscous. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes, cover tightly and turn off heat. Wait 20 minutes, (don’t peek), then fluff with a fork and keep in a warm place. Prepare the vinaigrette by whisking together, vinegar, lemon and orange juices, olive oil, fennel pollen, salt and pepper. Toss with shaved fennel and serve within an hour. Heat a saucepan over high heat and add blood orange peel and ginger, let char and get dark. Add blood orange juice, spices and bay leaf. Reduce to ¼ cup, add honey, then whisk in butter, piece by piece. Strain and season with salt to taste. Heat a sauté pan over high heat. Season fish filets with salt and pepper. Add oil to the pan and then the fish filets. Brown nicely on first side. With a spatula, flip filets and add butter and thyme sprigs. Turn heat to low and baste fish with butter until cooked to medium, about 5 minutes. If you have filets ¾ inch or thicker, you will need to cook in the oven as well. To plate: drizzle the plate with the blood orange sauce and a little vinaigrette sauce from the bottom of the bowl of fennel. Top with couscous and the fish filets, browned side up. Place a portion of shaved fennel on the fish and serve.