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Monday, April 21, 2008

Tunisian Harissa Sauce

Harissa is a North African condiment and is used a lot in cooking, especially in Tunisia. It is used as a table condiment, as an ingredient in tagines or stews, and to add flavor to couscous or salads.

If you want to use this as a dipping sauce for flatbread or pita, mix 2 tablespoons prepared harissa with 1/8 cup of lemon juice and 1/8 cup olive oil and stir. Alternatively, you could replace the lemon juice with 1/8 cup coconut milk, which makes a sweet counterpoint to the heat of the chilies. Delicious and spicy, it's a perfect sauce for fish.

1 cup hot dried red chile peppers
1 roasted red pepper
2 teaspoons Salt
10 cloves Garlic
2 teaspoons freshly ground cumin
Juice of 1/2 lemon, or 1/4 cup
Olive Oil

Cover the dried chilies with boiling water in a small bowl and let sit for about an hour. Drain and place in blender or food processor with the salt, garlic, and roasted red pepper. Puree the mixture and add the lemon juice, a little at a time. Add additional lemon juice if necessary. Pack the sauce into a small jar and add a thin layer of olive oil to top, just enough to cover. Refrigerate. This will keep about two to three weeks in the refrigerator, and the taste improves after it sits a couple of days.

Chili Pepper Tile CoasterChili Pepper Tile Coaster

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