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Moroccan fish and vegetable casserole ( chraime )

Serves 8 as an appetizer

In Israel, this popular Sephardic dish is a first course at Rosh Hashana . As an entree on other nights, it will serve four.

2 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 medium red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 small jalapeno or other hot chili pepper, quartered and seeded
Salt, to taste
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds white fish fillets (sole, halibut, or cod)
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
3 ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
1 cup water
1/3 cup olive oil
Coarse salt, to taste
1. In a large, flame-proof casserole

Notes: or Dutch oven, set the potato slices on the bottom. Scatter the bell peppers, garlic, and jalapeno pepper on the potatoes. Sprinkle with salt. Place the fish on top and sprinkle it with paprika and salt. Add the tomatoes and cilantro or parsley.

2. Pour water in at the edges. Sprinkle the top with oil and sprinkle generously with salt.

3. Set the pan over high heat, cover, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the fish is cooked through. Check the pan after 20 minutes; if there seems to be too much liquid, uncover the pan for the remaining cooking time. Serve hot or warm with challah. Adapted from Ella Komar

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