Holy Smokes Harissa

First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2015, can you believe it? A new chapter, page 1 of 365.

Christmas has passed in a whirl wind, as it always does, and it already seems like forever ago. We had a much-needed couple of weeks rest and relaxation, and obviously there was gluttonous amounts of feasting and drinking. It would be rude to assume that one shouldn’t feast! I’m really looking forward to this year, I know everyone starts out with lots of resolutions and overly positive thoughts, but I’ve got faith in 2015. It’s gonna be a good’n.

I took some time away from cooking over the festive break, let my mum take the reins while I was her trusty guinea pig. However, I couldn’t keep totally away from the kitchen, but it was nice to not feel any pressure to be creating things when I just wanted to rest.

Harissa

This harissa was one of the winning concoctions in my kitchen a few weeks ago. I love harissa, the heat it packs, and the fiery bomb it sets off over your taste buds. It is pretty expensive in the UK, and I get through it pretty fast, so I decided to try making my own.

And boy, is it good. Fiery as hell good.

Holy Smokes Harissa

Makes 2 small jars

INGREDIENTS:

10 red chillies
10 red birds eye chillies
15 garlic cloves
1 red onion
1 red pepper
5tsp – coriander, cumin, caraway seeds
80ml extra virgin olive oil

METHOD

Roast spices in a dry frying pan for a few minutes, until you start to smell their aroma. Tip into a blender and blitz into a rough powder. Put into a bowl and set aside.

Roughly chop the chillies, pepper and onion. You can de-seed the chillies if you wish, however I prefer to leave the seeds in for a better kick. Add all to blender including the olive oil and blitz until you get a rough paste. You may need to do it in batches depending on the size of your blender / processor.

Cook paste in a frying pan for 10-15 mins, until it becomes slightly sticky. Stir often, and continuously near the end.

Mix in the spices, and a generous pinch of salt.

Remove from heat and put into air-tight jars. Will last for roughly 2 weeks.

Harissa

Harissa

 

 

Jerk Sweet Potato Stew

There was a time, back when I didn’t have much interest in food, that I could not handle my spice. I mean, even a korma was too much for me. I’d steer well clear of anything with even a hint of chilli in.

Fast forward to a few years later and I love it. I love it a bit too much sometimes. I have a bad habit of making eye watering dishes, which we then both struggle to eat without following each mouthful with a pint of water.

jerk sweet potato stew

This dish turned out to be one of those times, I may have got a little bit over excited with the seasoning, more is more, right? However it was still packed full of flavour, and a great hearty dish to warm you up on these long, cold evenings. Go on, spice up your life.

Jerk Sweet Potato Stew (V)

INGREDIENTS:

1 large sweet potato (peeled and cubed)
1 aubergine
1 onion
Handful green beans
1 clove garlic
1 tin butter beans (rinsed well and drained)
1-3 tablespoons jerk spice (depending on how spicy you like it)
1 tin coconut milk
Salt and Pepper

METHOD

Preheat oven to Gas Mark 5 / 190 C

Dice the onion and garlic. Fry onion for 5 mins until translucent, add garlic and cook for 2 more mins.

Add jerk seasoning and stir well. Add sweet potatoes and make sure the potato gets coated in the spices. Fry for 2-4 more mins.

Add mix into large casserole pot. Cover with the coconut milk.

Cook in oven for 25-30 mins.

Add chopped aubergine and beans into the pot. Cook for a further 10 mins.

Serve in bowls with crusty bread, or over quinoa.

jerk sweet potato stew

jerk sweet potato stew