Sunday, February 6, 2011

Lip-smacking Harissa recipe

The inspiration for this version of harissa came from an article in the NY Times last year at this time.  I've posted the link to the original recipe at the bottom of this entry.

The first time I made this I used small, hot, red chiles that we got from Meadow’s Mirth and a handful of larger, less hot, chilies from Barker's Farm.  This time, with only a handful of Barker's chilies remaining in my pantry, I supplemented with 'new mexico' and 'chipotle' chilies from a small, local supermarket.
~4 oz. dried chiles, stemmed and seeded (careful with touching your face afterward!)
1 tsp. caraway seeds
3/4 tsp. coriander seeds
1⁄2 tsp. cumin seeds
4-6 fresh mint leaves
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
1 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
8-10 cloves
Zest of half a lemon
Juice of 1 lemon

1. Fill a med. saucepot halfway with water, bring to boil.  Remove from heat and add chiles.  Be sure to submerge.  Let sit until softened, about 1 hour.  Heat caraway, coriander, and cumin seeds in an 8" skillet over medium heat. Toast spices, swirling skillet constantly, until very fragrant, about 4 minutes. Grind using either a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. Set aside.

2. Drain chiles and transfer to the bowl of a food processor.  Add all of the garlic, mint, ground spices, olive oil, salt, lemon zest and juice. Purée, stopping occasionally during pulsing to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until the paste is smooth (or chunky, whichever you prefer), about 1 minutes. Taste for seasoning...maybe more salt, more lemon, or more garlic?  Transfer to a small glass jar and top with oil until ingredients are just submerged. Refrigerate, topping off with more oil after each use. Paste will keep for up to 1 month.


Original recipe here.

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