Middle Eastern food, and Egyptian food in particular, relies heavily on red meat. It's a sign of generosity to be served a meal with numerous meat dishes. Which is kinda funny, because the entire Middle East is bordered by beautiful, sparkling seas full of fresh seafood.
My husband hails from Alexandria, Egypt. A port city thousands of years old, named after Alexander the Great. This jewel of the Mediterranean has a long, illustrious, and incredible history spanning many civilizations.
What is Alexandria best known for today, you ask?
SEAFOOD, is the answer you'd get in Egypt.
Fresh caught seafood, prepared simply and with readily-available ingredients is what thousands of local Egyptians look forward to eating on summer vacations in Alexandria. Fish is prepared in endless combinations -- fried, butterflied and baked, grilled with a whole wheat crust and dunked in a vinegar/water/spice bath (yes, it's a thing).
This recipe is my classic anchor for an Alexandrian feast fit to serve royalty, but modified for our fast-paced western lives. I can build an entire seafood extravaganza around it, by adding shrimp, lobster, a tagine of calamari in honor of my hubby's birthday... or serve it alone midweek.
Spiced, cumin-laden and zesty fresh fillets, dipped in seasoned flour and fried until crunchy. It's like fish and chips -- but way more flavorful. In our home, we serve this with tahini sauce, Egyptian seafood rice (https://food52.com/recipes...), and a tomato-cucumber-onion salad. We never have leftovers.
Bel hana wel shefa (Arabic: enjoy it with happiness and good health)! —Hajar D.
white fish fillets (haddock, cod, or preferably tilapia)