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Magical White Fish B'stilla #FishFridayFoodies


It's time for Fish Friday Foodies' February event. We are a group of seafood-loving bloggers, rallied by Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm, to share fish and seafood recipes on the third Friday of the month. And this month Karen of Karen's Kitchen Stories is at the helm, while the group serves up Fish Friday Pies.

Karen provided a little guidance by saying we could make "pies, tarts, quiches, hand pies, pot pies, mini pies.... etc." Before I get to my pick, here's the line-up...


Magical White Fish B'stilla

I am notorious for never making the same thing twice. So, during a recent dinner party a few close friends were talking about some of our dinner party highlights over the years and one dish bubbled to the top as the most unforgettable dish I've ever made.

Then it turned into a challenge: "We know that you never make the same thing twice - that you can't make the same things twice - but even if you made the seafood pie and it was only half as good as the first one, it would still be the best dish you've ever made."

Seriously? Wow. A challenge, an insult, and a compliment all at the same time. Gotta love friends who tell the truth. 

They are referring to my Seafood B'stilla which is a Moroccan pot pie of sorts. Crisp phyllo dough wrapped around savory saffron filling, a spicy omelet stuffing, and ground nuts sweetened and flavored with citrus. A garnish of powdered sugar and cinnamon adds to the exotic blend of flavors. It takes some effort, but it's well worth it!

Ingredients 
makes one 11" b'stilla

Saffron Fish

  • 2 pounds white fish (I used a fillet of black cod, skinned and cubed)
  • 2 large sweet onions, peeled and chopped
  • 1 T ground ginger
  • 2 t freshly ground sea salt
  • 1 t freshly ground pepper
  • 1 t ground turmeric
  • 1 t saffron threads
  • 1 T ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 C butter
  • 1/4 C olive oil

Spicy Omelet

  • 1/4 C chopped fresh cilantro
  • 8 eggs, beaten

Sweetened Nuts

  • 2 C ground cashews (traditionally, it's made with almonds; I had cashews)
  • 1/2 C powdered sugar
  • 1 T lemon extract
  • 2 T butter, softened

To Assemble

  • 1 package phyllo dough, thawed according to package
  • 1/2 C butter, melted
  • more chopped fresh cilantro

To Garnish

  • 1/2 C organic powdered sugar
  • 2 or 3 T ground cinnamon


Procedure

Saffron Fish
Mix the fish cubes with onion, spices, butter and oil in a large flat-bottom pan that has a tight-fitting lid. Cover, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes. Do not add water, and take care not to burn the fish or the sauce.

Remove the cooked fish to another dish, but leave the sauce in the pan. Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce until most of the liquids have evaporated. Stir occasionally, adjusting heat as necessary, to prevent burning.

Spicy Omelet
Add the beaten eggs to the reduced sauce and scramble. Cook till the eggs are set. Set the omelet aside.

Sweetened Nuts
Put all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl, and with a  pastry cutter, work in the powdered sugar, lemon extract, and butter. Set aside.

Assemble the B'stilla
I actually have never seen anyone really make b'stilla. So this is my own version...and it's been a hit the times I've made it. Melt butter in a saucepan and keep it liquid.


Generously oil a large round baking dish; as I mentioned up top, I used a 11" deep dish baker. If you don't have a round pan, work on an oiled flat baking sheet and shape a circular pie as best you can.


Overlap three or four single layers of phyllo dough, rotating as you lay them in the pan so that the excess dough hanging over the edge of the pan is evenly distributed around the circle. Butter each layer of dough as you go. This forms the bottom of the b'stilla. For my first layer, I spooned in the sweetened nut mixture.



Lay your fish pieces over the nuts and sprinkle with fresh cilantro. Lay two more layers of phyllo dough over the fish, buttering each piece.


Top that with a layer of spicy egg omelet. Lay two more layers of phyllo dough over the egg, buttering each piece. Repeat till your pan is full - or you run out of filling. I ended up with two layers of each filling - nuts, fish, and egg.

Fold the excess dough up and over your last layer to enclose the pie. Flatten the top and smooth out any bulky areas.


Brush butter on the folded edges of dough, and top with three more overlapping layers of phyllo, brushing butter on each layer as you go. Carefully tuck them underneath the pie, creating a flat top for the b'stilla. It's ready for baking.

Bake the B'stilla
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Bake for 40-45 minute until crisped and golden brown.

To serve, invert the b'stilla on your serving platter. Slice and serve with a side garnish of powdered sugar and ground cinnamon.

The verdict: the crisped phyllo, savory filling, and sweet topping were magical! At least that's what D said. I'll take it. It's not everyday my dinner is called magical.

And that's a wrap for February's #FishFridayFoodies. We'll be back next month with recipes that include tuna. Stacy of Food Lust People Love will be hosting. Stay tuned!

Comments

  1. It's been awhile since I made bisteeya. You have my mouth watering!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That sounds phenomenal and definitely memorable. Tucking this one away for when I feel adventurous! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh my gosh, how can you go wrong with all those wonderful flavors?!! I am so happy you joined us this month.

    ReplyDelete
  4. With that kind of encouragement/challenge/insult/compliment, how could you not make this? It sounds amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This recipe sounds intriguing, though I do have to leave out the cashews... But with the ingredients here, they won't be missed. The flavor world here is awesome and I'm glad to have seen this recipe.

    ReplyDelete

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