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From Fish Tagine to Hearty Soup

I cringe a little when people come up with creative ways of cooking Mexican food without understanding some of the basics. I will understand if you are offended by this meal if you love Middle Eastern food. I had fish, a tagine and my 8-year old son on hand and this all seemed to make sense. Fish-tagine1 Nico and I like cooking together. He's willing to try most anything and I can't tell you how much that means. We were bachelors this last weekend so we came up with this fish tagine. We sauteed onions and garlic in lots of fruity olive oil in the bottom of our tagine and when the vegetables were soft, we added chopped tomatoes. While these cooked, Nico took several threads of saffron and added them to half a cup of warm water and let them steep for about 5 minutes. We added the saffron water and half a cup of chicken stock to the tagine, salted and mixed it all together than placed two hefty trout on top. When everything was comfy, we turned the heat down to very low and replaced the cover on the tagine, letting it cook until the fish was done, about 20 minutes. Fish-tagine Nico had never cooked with a whole fish before and loved it, except for the eyes. I told him about my late Uncle Tom and how he'd insist on eating the eyes and how they made him smart. Neither of us ended up eating them. But we ate the rest and it was delicious, served with steamed zucchini and roasted potatoes. Nico had a hunch the leftovers would make a fine soup, so we took them all and added them to a pot with more broth and a pound of soaked runner cannellini. Nico-tagine-soup "Papa, what's "soup" in Spanish?" he asked. "Sopa." "Mmmmmmm......Sopa de Nicolito!" He was very proud of his creation. And as a father, I was thrilled to see him eating zucchini and fish without wincing. Nico-tagine-soup2 I know it's a cliche, but I think the best way to get kids excited about food is to cook with them.

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