Yield: Makes 1 cup
Time: 40 minutes (10 minutes active)
A North Africa chile sauce, Harissa is both an ingredient and a condiment. Stir a spoonful or two into a couscous or tagine as it simmers, then thin some out with a little water so it has the consistency of a thick sauce, and serve it at the table for people to stir into their bowls. Use harissa to torque up a spaghetti sauce or a minestrone as it simmers, use it as a rub for fish to go on the grill, or thin it out and use as a marinade for chicken or lamb.
As a condiment, just about anything goes. Harissa is a great sauce for roast chicken or grilled steak. Spread a thin layer on a roasted vegetable sandwich or an ahi tuna panini, or use it instead of ketchup on a coriander-laced lamb burger. Slather it on a taco. Thin it to the consistency of salsa verde or stir it into yogurt, and you’ve got a splendid dipping sauce for flatbreads or crudités. You can even use it to spice up mayonnaise.
- 4 ounces dried chiles (equal amounts of New Mexico, guajillo and chipotle chiles)
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds, freshly ground
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds, freshly ground
- 2 tablespoons best-quality olive oil, plus extra for storage
- Place the chiles in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Let rest until softened, about 30 minutes. Drain, then remove the seeds and stems from the chiles. Wear latex or rubber gloves when you do this to avoid irritating your skin.
- Place the seeded and stemmed chiles into the bowl of a food processor with the garlic and pulse a couple of times. Add the salt, caraway and coriander. Process until smooth, pouring the olive oil into the feeding tube on top as you blend. Add a little water if necessary to achieve the right consistency: The harissa should be a thick paste. To store, top off with a thin layer of olive oil and refrigerate.
- Note: You can grind the spices in a spice grinder, a coffee grinder or with a mortar and pestle.
Pairs well with…
Source: Los Angeles Times, September 26, 2007