Chili Pepper Harissa – Jimi’s
This is a Spanish recipe that is usually mild heat with a bit of sweetness. There are Turkish, North African versions as well that more closely resemble the Diablo version. For the El Diablo version, use the Mexican chilis listed below.Update; working on an Aleppo Pepper version, stay tuned…
- Saute pan, at least 4qt
- Microplane or fine shredder
- Food processor or large mortal and pestle
- A sharp knife 🙂
- 3 T olive oil (Arbequina varietal preferred)
- 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped into bite size pieces
- 8 cloves of garlic
- 16 ounces canned roasted piquillo peppers
- Can substitute with roasted Fresno or Cubanelle
- El Diablo Version: substitute with 8-10oz dried pequin/arbol, soaked overnight (12g if powdered)
- 2 chili peppers (serrano, poblano or anything mild/medium heat), thinly sliced into rings, seeds intact
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds 1
- 2 tablespoons cumin seeds 1
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon pimentón (Spanish smoked sweet paprika)
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 1 lime, zest and juice
- Place a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Add the carrots and char: until the surface of the carrots are black.
- Add the garlic cloves and toast them until golden, flip after about 20 seconds to check, do not burn them.
- Add piquillo peppers and toss to combine. Remove from the heat and transfer to a food processor.
- Pulse 3 to 4 times until chunky. Set aside.
- 2 Grind the chili peppers, spices, and sea salt in a mortar and pestle. Crush everything for about 5 minutes until peppers and spices are broken down.
- Add the lemon, lime zest and juice, and olive oil and continue to grind until you achieve a paste.
- *Place the paste into the season carrot mixture, stirring to combine.
- If using powdered spices, cut amount by half
- Or throw everything into processor for a smooth paste. Just make sure initial mixture is cooled (about 100F) so you don’t ‘cook’ the zest and citrus juices.
So, this recipe is what happened when I went to Buford Highway Farmer’s Market looking for piquin peppers. I go to the dried chili section where I find a Latino dude stocking the massive wall of chilis, what luck!…
- Me: Donde piquillo?
- Dude: Ah… pequin?
- Me: No, piquillo…??
- Dude: No se… pequin?
- Me [thinking I’ve completely fucked-up this exchange and just want to save both of us]: Ah, lo siento! si-si, pequin!
- Dude [smiles and points] Aqui!
- Me [NO idea what I’m in for]: Gracias!