RC: Harissa Chez Panisse
Posted by Craig, Montreal on Jan 11, 2000 at 13:23:13
Looking through the peppers chapter of Chez Panisse Vegetables, I came across this recipe for harissa which had previously escaped my notice. The addition of butter is a new one one me.

Harissa Chez Panisse

4 fresh serrano chilies
Olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seed
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup clarified butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Trim, halve and seed the chilies. Coat with olive oil and roast on a baking sheet, cut side down, in a 500F oven until the skins begin to blister and blacken. Cool and peel.

Toast the cumin seed in a skillet over high heat. Grind in a mortar. Add the garlic, paprika, cayenne and chilies and pound into a smooth paste. Slowly add the butter to make an emulsion. Add the lemon juice and salt and, if a very spicy sauce is desired, more cayenne.

Yield: 1/2 cup