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Salmon Tagine
From Washington Post, Sunday, December 20, 1998

A recent addition to K Street's lineup of swanky bars and restaurants, Le Tarbouche offers French-Lebanese cuisine to the cosmopolitan crowd. The subdued atmosphere, extensive wine list and unique decor, including a 40-foot mosaic bar, create a lovely setting for either a quiet business lunch or romantic tete-a-tete (there's blue lighting and candles galore at night). Executive Chef Bader Ali's elegant presentations also reflect an obsession with detail; he serves the following entree with saffron couscous and a roasted lobster claw.

Le Tarbouche, 1801 K St. NW; Washington, DC  call 202-331-5551.

4 salmon fillets (about 7 ounces each)
2 tablespoons five-spice powder
teaspoon cumin
teaspoon ground cardamom
teaspoon turmeric
2 cloves garlic, sliced
5 tablespoons olive oil
teaspoon saffron
cup diced tomatoes

Wash the salmon fillets and pat dry to remove any excess water. Mix the five-spice powder, cumin, cardamom and turmeric and rub the fillets with the spice mixture until completely coated.

Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Quickly sear the salmon on both sides until browned but still rare. Remove the fish and keep warm. Wipe the oil from the pan.

In the same hot pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and fry the garlic; as it begins to color, add the saffron and tomatoes. Cook over high heat for 1 minute.

To serve, lay the salmon on a large plate and pour the sauce over the fish.

Per serving: 376 calories, 39 gm protein, 2 gm carbohydrates, 23 gm fat, 106 mg cholesterol, 3 gm saturated fat, 89 mg sodium, trace dietary fiber

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