Moroccan Spiced Cod with Lemon Pearl Couscous {Casablanca}


This post is a shoutout to one of my boyfriend’s favorite movies, and the Best Picture winner in 1944. In World War II Casablanca, Rick Blaine, exiled American and former freedom fighter, runs the most popular nightspot in town. The cynical lone wolf Blaine comes into the possession of two valuable letters of transit. When Nazi Major Strasser arrives in Casablanca, the sycophantic police Captain Renault does what he can to please him, including detaining a Czechoslovak underground leader Victor Laszlo. Much to Rick’s surprise, Lazslo arrives with Ilsa, Rick’s one time love. Rick is very bitter towards Ilsa, who ran out on him in Paris, but when he learns she had good reason to, they plan to run off together again using the letters of transit. Or at least, that was the plan.

No film captures the classical Hollywood style quite so well as “Casablanca.” The film seamlessly combines romance and intrigue in its exotic location, remarkably conveyed by mere studio sets. The black and white cinematography is perfect for capturing and adding mood to the smoke filled rooms, war torn city streets, and foggy airports that compose the world of this film. Despite seeming a product of its time, “Casablanca” is truly a timeless piece of entertainment

{Moroccan Spiced Cod with Lemon Pearl Couscous}
Serves 2

Though this film is in black and white, I wanted to pair this colorful dish packed with Moroccan spices with “Casablanca,” as the film is set in Morocco. The dish has several components, but they all work together beautiful, just like very element of this film. Enjoy!

Ingredients for Moroccan Spiced Cod:

  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp mace
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 2 4 to 5-oz cod fillets, pin bones and skin removed
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Ingredients for Lemon Pearl Couscous:

  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 c pearl couscous
  • 3/4 c low-salt vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/4 c cherry tomatoes
  • 6 Kalamata olives, halved
  • 2 quarters marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 1/4 preserved lemon rind, minced
  • 1 tbsp shredded parmesan
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley leaves

Instructions for Moroccan Spiced Cod:

  • In a small bowl or airtight jar, combine spices. This will make ~1 tbsp and will keep for 3 months if stored in an airtight container in a dark cabinet.
  • Season cod with spice mixture ~1/8 tsp per side.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over med-hi heat till aromatic but not smoking.
  • Sauté cod till opaque halfway up the side ~3-5 minutes depending on how thick your fillet is then flip and cook on the other side till completely opaque.

Instructions for Lemon Pearl Couscous:

  • In a small sauté pan or skillet with a lid, heat olive oil over medium heat till aromatic but not smoking.
  • Add couscous and toast till golden ~2-3 minutes.

I hope this movie and film pair can fill both your stomach and your soul, happy eating everyone!

One thought on “Moroccan Spiced Cod with Lemon Pearl Couscous {Casablanca}

  1. I just recently started cooking couscous. It’s my new favorite side (though, admittedly sometimes I eat only couscous with feta and spinach for lunch). This looks great!

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