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Camouniat Samak

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Margi Cintrano View Drop Down
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    Posted: 16 March 2013 at 09:27
The Port of Call city, Alexandria, Egypt, clings to the minds of the elderly like traces of perfume upon a sleeve, the capital of Memories.  Alexandria is the very first name that conjures up centuries of grandeur and intrigue, faded glory and romance. Here the past casts a long long shadow and with excellent reasoning.
Founded by Alexander the Greatin 332 B.C., it was the largest city of the Roman Empire under Julius Caesar, the trysting port of Cleopatra and Marc Antony, and one of the major centres of Christiandom during the Byzantine Period.
Then, arrived the age of decline and decadence, until the time Napolean´s armies landed in 1798, and the once again proud queen of the Mediterranean was just a fishermen´s port village.
However, the city begun to regain its status in 1820, under the Viceroy Muhammad Ali, who started the construction of the Mahmoudiay Canal and thereby opened Alexandria to the modern world.
Celebrated writers, such as E.M. Foster and Constantine Cavaly brought a cosmopolitan air to this small Port ...
After Nasser seized power in 1956, most foreigners had left or were expelled from Alexandria. The Egyptian Nobel Peace Prize Awarded winner Naguib Mahfouz described in his novel, MIRAMAR, as a core of nostalgia steeped in honey and tears ...
Contemporary Alexandria, still possesses earthly charms, its sea breezes, its people, its excellent virgin white beaches and Corniche, a 15 mile road that skirts the city along the Mediterranean Sea.
The Corniche to my recall, had been lined with hotels, cafés, taverns, restaurants and this is where most visitors had been indulging in the stunning shellfish and fish, and Egyptian regional specialties. We had gone to Luxor and Cairo, the Pyramid of Giza amongst other Pyramids, and the Sphinx; in 1978, to celebrate my 1st published article in a major USA Weekly Newspaper. Thus, alot has changed since, we are sure.
Egypt has only a handful of national dishes along with Syria, Turkey, Lebanon and Persia or now called Iran. Ful Medamis, are small broad beans simmered and served whole or pureèd with chopped parsley, hard boiled egg and lemon juice drizzled with Egyptian Evoo.
Eaten by the business class as well as the peasants, it is usually served with Tahini, flat breads, tomato and onion salad. It is a taste to remember ... The other well known specialties of Cairo and Alexandria are: babaghanuj and hummus.
This simple dish called CAMOUNIAT SAMAK is SEA BASS WITH CUMIN SAUCE  and it can be prepared with any white firm fish of availability and choice. This dish is served with a dessert called ALI, which signifies MOTHER OF ALI, and is an orange flower phyllo, raisin and nutmeg pudding.
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 pound of red ripe fresh tomatoes
3 tblsps. Evoo ( Egypt is a Mediterranean Producer of Evoo and a member of Terra Oliva )
4 garlic cloves pressed
1 1/2 tsps. ground cumin
red pepper flakes to taste 
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 large onions sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices
1) place the fish in a glass baking dish
2) gradually drizzle the lemon juice over the fish and season with salt and freshly ground black and red pepper flakes 
3) cover and let marinate
4) Now blanch the tomatoes in a pot of salted boiling water for 20 seconds
5) drain and peel the tomatoes and slice in half; then, seed and chop finely and set aside
6) heat the Evoo in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onion, cover and cook until tender and golden stirring occasionally approx. 15 to 18 mins.
7) add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds
8) combine the cumin, then the tomatoes sliced finely and simmer to create a thick salsa sauce for 6 to 9 mins.
9) Incorporate the fish fillets and simmer until the fish is just sautéed through ( do NOT overcook the fish ) - 7 to 8 minutes
10) USING a slotted spatula, now transfer the fish to a platter and boil the sauce in the skillet until thick for 4 mins. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and spoon drizzle over the fish.
*** NOTE: this dish was served with a choice of tomato sauce or tahini; and I had it with the tomato sauce --- the tahini was served in a side bowl ...
Volamos a Mediterraneo, un paraiso que conquista su gente u su cocina.
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