One of the most delicious and beloved dishes in Israeli cuisine is Chraime - a spicy fish stew with the deep flavor of tomatoes. In our seasonal version we use the chlorophyll-packed Swiss Chard and chickpeas. The secret is to find the right fish (we like cod or wild pollock) and to use the cooking water of the chickpeas as stock.
4 to 6
1 lb of cod or wild pollock cut into 1 1/2” cubes
1/2 lb dry chickpeas
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 lemon, sliced
1 bunch of Swiss chard (remove the stems) or alternatively 1/2 lb spinach
A few Sage leaves
6 thin slices of Serrano pepper (optional)
Pierre Poivre N7, to taste
5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Put chickpeas in a bowl covered with cold water and let soak overnight.
Season the fish with Sheba (coat them lightly), and place in the fridge overnight.
Dispose of the soaking water, wash the chickpeas under running water and put them in a pot; cover with water 2” above chickpeas. Boil and cook on low heat for 2 hours. After one hour add Pierre Poivre, salt, sage and 2 cloves of garlic.
Heat the oven to 450°F and arrange the lemon slices on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt, cook until caramelized.
Sauté the Swiss chard in a pan with olive oil and the remaining garlic on med heat for 4-7 min. If using spinach sauté for 5 minutes. If you like it hot - add the Serrano rings
Add the cooked greens to the stock and cook for 10 minutes. Check the lemon slices and when they are done drop the oven to 350°F and set the lemons slices aside.
Pour the cooked greens and chickpeas along with all the liquid into a large shallow casserole and add the fish cubes, nestling them in the broth. Transfer to the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until fish is cooked through.
Serve the stew with the lemon slices, additional olive oil, and challah.
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