Harissa

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by oregonyeti, Mar 1, 2015.

  1. oregonyeti

    oregonyeti

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    I just got some harissa, which I have never tasted before. Based on what I thought it would probably be like, I diced some onions, and red bell peppers, started sauteeing them, added a little diced ginger, and then opened this little container of harissa that I got from Amazon (I don't know of any local source). It's Harissa by Du Cap Bon, Tunisian hot sauce imported from France. (??? but anyway ... )



    I put a couple of spoonfuls of it in with the peppers and onions, thinking that will add a little flavor. I licked the spoon and

    WOW

    This is not like anything I have ever tasted before. This is no curry paste. This is no Mexican hot sauce. No SE Asian hot sauce. This is not like anything I know. This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around. I thought I was familiar with all the hot and spicy stuff, but no. This is . . . something else.

    I am thrilled to get a completely new category of hot and spicy. YUMMMMM /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif

    Anyone here into harissa? Any recipes? I know I have a lot of experimenting to do.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  2. butzy

    butzy

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    Yeah, I like the stuff!

    It features quite a bit in the middle eastern kitchen.

    Some time back I made Merquez sausages, a lamb sausage with harissa paste inside

     
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  3. oregonyeti

    oregonyeti

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    Can I have some?
     
  4. french fries

    french fries

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    I have the same brand of harissa, I use it mostly for couscous: when we serve couscous, we put out a little bowl, one laddle of broth, and a heaping Tbspn of harissa. That's our hot sauce for the couscous. Sometimes I can't be bothered and just put the harissa straight in my plate. Sometimes I add it to sandwhiches... 

    In France, a classic street fair sandwich is fresh baguette, 2 grilled merguez, and a choice of dijon mustard or harissa, served with french fries. Since I just can't make a choice, I always ask for both dijon and harissa. And let it be known that the dijon mustard you get in France is much hotter than anything you can get in this here country. 

    This is the perfect sandwich to end a night of drinking. In that case, put the french fries inside the sandwich, along with the merguez and harissa. DELICIOUS! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/talker.gif

    Some people put slices of tomatoes, or lettuce, or onions in the sandwich. How dare they mess with a classic. 
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  5. oregonyeti

    oregonyeti

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    OK French Fries, you have my mind going on what to do next /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif   I haven't made any sausage ever and that's why I just asked Butzy for a taste. lol

    This stuff is ... excuse my loss of words ... freekin good. And I love lamb. Rogan josh might have to share first place with merguez and harissa, if I ever get some merguez.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  6. lagom

    lagom

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    Tunisian hot sauce imported from France. (??? but anyway ... )

    Former french colony. Tunisia still has french as its second language and most business is done in french. The food is very french(and italian) influenced. Ive enjoyed many a good meal there.

    Harissa is a staple in my kitchens and we use it in everything from meatloaf to bbq sause.
     
  7. french fries

    french fries

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    All I know is, the stuff is made in Nabeul, Tunisia. Maybe it first travels to France, then from France to the U.S.? 
     
  8. oregonyeti

    oregonyeti

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    I know the history of Tunisia and France. I was just thinking maybe Tunisia should market this more. I am very much into shared cuisine. I'm American and I grew up in India. I love how the Portuguese influenced Goa food. I love Goa chorizo and Goa prawn curry (the MOST of any curry!).

    I am thinking of a lot of things I can do with harissa. Meatloaf, I will definitely have to do!
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  9. oregonyeti

    oregonyeti

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    That's interesting. Maybe I will visit Nabeul some day.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  10. french fries

    french fries

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    FWIW I'm French living in the U.S. but part of my family comes from Morocco and Algeria, and in my family we don't use Harissa, we use Tuong Ot (NOT the sriracha one though).. which is... Vietnamese?? Go figure. 
     
  11. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    I'm using Cap Bon since forever. I prefer a tube, since I'm only using small quantities, like in a lot of sauces to give them a punch; try a bit in tomato sauce... deliious.

    Also in rouille that is served with fish soups like bouillabaisse etc. Simple to make; blacken a red bell pepper over a flame and wrap, when cooled peel, blitz with good mayo and a squeeze of harissa from the tube. Recipe comes from someone from Marseille... best rouille ever!
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  12. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    I like to brush shrimp  a with cinnamon harissa oil, then grill them and served with a spicy roasted red bell pepper, coriander, caraway sauce. I do this one for the general public, so I keep it a bit on the mild side, but at home I am more generous with the harissa because I like spicy.

    Cinnamon Harissa Oil

    Weight or Volume                                                                  Ingredients

    1 cup                                                                                       Olive Oil

    ¼ cup                                                                                      Cinnamon

    1 tablespoon                                                                            Sea Salt

    ½ teaspoon                                                                              Harissa

    1 teaspoon                                                                               Palm Sugar

    Procedure:

    Combine all ingredients.

    Spicy Red Bell Pepper Sauce

    Weight or Volume                                                                  Ingredients

    ½ tablespoon                                                                           Coriander, toasted, ground

    ½ tablespoon                                                                           Caraway, toasted, ground

    2 cloves                                                                                   Garlic, chopped, sautéed

    2                                                                                              Red Bell Peppers, roasted, peeled, chopped

    ½ tablespoon                                                                           Palm Sugar

    ½ teaspoon                                                                              Harissa

    1 tablespoon                                                                            Shrimp Stock

    Procedure:

    Combine all ingredients in blender and process.
     
  13. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    There's a local Lebanese place called Layla. They make a Za'atar seasoned french fry and serve it with a harissa spiked toum. Most excellent, especially here in the land of Fry Sauce, which I also like. The harissa toum looks a lot like fry sauce but is wildly different.  

    Any more, I can only eat about 5-10 french fries before I'm done.  I like them, but I just find I'm satisfied with them after a few. But Layla Fries, I can keep eating those. Those make you just want to eat more and more of them. 

    For my taste, I have to use Harissa sparingly as I find it quite hot. 
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  14. french fries

    french fries

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    Oh and by the way while the "Cap Bon" products are good as far as industrial products go, there's still nothing like a freshly homemade harissa IMO. 

     
  15. oregonyeti

    oregonyeti

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    French Fries, what's your recipe for making harissa? I wonder if I can get the right kind(s) of chilis here.
     
  16. french fries

    french fries

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    Simple harissa:  Rehydrate chilis, remove seeds and veins, and pound in a mortar and pestle with sea salt and a little olive oil. Pack in a jar and cover with more olive oil. 

    If the chilis are really dry or tough, you can steam them to cook and soften them. 

    For more complex taste, you can add various things to taste. 

    Garlic is the first thing I'll add, and I like a lot of it: pound it with the chilis. 

    To play with added spices, consider caraway, coriander, cumin. 

    If you don't have a mortar and pestle, you can run the chilis and garlic (and spices) through a meat grinder. 
     
  17. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I think  the fumes coming off that mortar and pestle could be very intense. 
     
  18. ordo

    ordo

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    Just saw this video.

     
  19. oregonyeti

    oregonyeti

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    Great video! Thanks, ordo.
     
  20. teamfat

    teamfat

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    I bet that huge pot of chilis smells wonderful!

    mjb.