Thursday, August 5, 2010


It’s 109 degrees in the shade and being a born and bred Southern girl, I don’t do heat.

I do air conditioning very well.

So why in the world during the hottest summer I can remember do I want to make Harissa?

You know Harissa, the North African condiment which sometimes can be so hot, you turn a totally unappetizing shade of red at the dinner table.

Bobby Flay made me want to make Harissa, that’s why.

And I’m so glad he did.

You have options on how hot you want it. You also have options whether you wish to make a paste or more of a thick sauce. I opted for the sauce.

And as a topping for grilled wild sockeye salmon or roasted chicken with chickpeas or grilled flank steak with a splat of Harissa and Tzatziki rolled in pita bread…mmm mmm mmm.

I roasted tomatoes and garlic and red bell peppers to perfection, toasted crushed red pepper flakes, caraway seeds and cumin seeds and coriander seed and threw it all in the blender. Aged sherry vinegar and dash of honey..

Just the right blend of spice and heat to make whatever you’re eating just that much better.

Without sacrificing your good looks at the dinner table.

Adapted from Bobby Flay’s Grill It by Bobby Flay

3 fat cloves garlic
1-½ tsp crushed hot red pepper flakes
2 large red bell peppers, cut in half, remove seeds
2 small tomatoes
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
A couple of dashes aged sherry vinegar
1 tsp honey
A quick swirl of extra virgin olive oil

Roast the pepper, tomatoes, and garlic at 400 degrees until done. I did this in a toaster oven and it worked beautifully. Plan on about 20 minutes until garlic is soft.

Toast the cumin seeds, caraway seeds, coriander seeds and crushed pepper flakes in a small dry skillet until the spices are fragrant, about five minutes over medium high heat.

Put the roasted veggies in a blender and chop. Add spices and keep the blender going. Add the sherry vinegar and the honey and a quick swirl of extra virgin olive oil. Season to taste with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Makes about a cup and a half.

Click here for a printable recipe!

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