Deliciously Spicy Harissa Recipe paired with Grilled Ribeye Steaks

A wonderful new flavor that I've discovered...perhaps many of you already have your own recipe and interpretation of harissa, but I would like to share mine with all of you!  Even though I served this with steaks, this really can be used with almost anything you want to try it with!  No one else had ever had harissa before and they all really loved it!  Even my God-sister Karen, who NEVER eats spicy food got a healthy spoonful of it!  Some of the suggestions for the harissa were to pair it with chicken, salmon or even as a salad dressing.

What was really great about it was that though there was a nice amount of heat to it, it wasn't lingering like some dishes where the oils of the peppers just stay on your lips and in your mouth and you feel like it'll never go away.  Chris said that it was a really nice spice, but it would go away, which made you want to eat another bite with all that delicious harissa on the meat. He couldn't get enough of it...and even with the beads of sweat on his forehead, he kept coming back for more.  

I was beyond ecstatic that everyone loved the harissa so much and they were all so excited about trying this new flavor and condiment!   

The tomato salad is just something I threw together and remember...what I really like to encourage when cooking is to try a new flavor or cuisine and to use your own taste buds to create flavors that you really enjoy.  My recipes are guidelines and I hope you all enjoy them.  And you can garnish this with fresh cilantro if you like.  I forgot to put mine don't you forget it!  =)

Grilled Ribeye with
Home made Harissa

1  Red jalapeno - quartered and deseeded
1  Green jalapeno - quartered and deseeded
1  Dried California chile pod - steeped/reconstituted, stemmed and deseeded
1  Dried red chile pepper - steeped/reconstituted, deseeded
2-3  Cloves of garlic
1 - 14 oz jar Pappadew Peppers
1 tsp  Ground cumin
1/2 tsp  Ground coriander
1/2 tsp  Caraway seeds
1/4-1/2 cup  Olive oil - approximately.  Depending on how thick or thin you want the sauce to be
Juice of approximately 1/4 to 1/2 of a lemon
Kosher salt - to taste
Fresh black pepper - to taste

Add all ingredients into the blender except for the lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Blend well.  Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.   This can be prepared the day before to allow the flavors to develop.

Makes approximately 3-4 cups

Fresh Tomato and Red Onion Salad

2  Pints of tomatoes - variety of colors and shapes.  Halved or quartered
1/4  Red onion - thinly sliced
4 Tbsp  White wine vinegar (approximately add more if you want it to be more vinegary)
2 Tbsp  Olive oil (adjust accordingly)
Kosher salt - to taste
Fresh black pepper - to taste
1-2 tsp  Sugar (again taste, add more vinegar if too sweet)  

Combine tomatoes and onions in a bowl.  Add vinegar, oil and sugar toss and season to taste.  Continuing combining all the seasonings.  Chill and serve.

Serves: 3 - 4


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