Sunday, 10 October 2010

Dia descanso com o diabo

O meu dia descanso( my day off ) - ´You little devil ´ I hear you say. An unexpected encounter with another red devil brought fire to a simple Casa Rosada supper.
Having cooked a serious 3 course dinner for our guests last night, tonight I need speedy supper, and it needs to be devilishly delicious. I go to the fridge,open the door, and it shouts hello condiment queen. Oh my god my fridge is complaining about the number of jars its being asked to store.You name it I´ve made it, I´ve stored it....Thai green curry paste, red tomato chutney, chilli jam, green olive tapenade, piri piri sauce, salad dressings every which way, so what needs using up and what can contribute to speedy supper. A jar of harissa I made last week catches my eye. I´ve got the devil in me and like a thing possessed I don my shopping basket. Its  half past twelve, its Sunday, its Castro Marim and the local supermarket closes in thirty minutes. Our supermarket has its own butchers counter selling a lot of home produced meat.His satanic majesty requests two free range chicken breasts, and returns home with a recipe in mind. Half my work is done, the fridge also proffers me a bowl of jewelled cous cous left over from last night. Harissa Chicken with jewelled cous cous, less mutton dressed as lamb, more devil wears Prada.
I simply adore this fiery pungent paste made with hot red chillis and spices. It can be smeared over almost anything. Let this North African staple give punch to lamb shanks or just simply mop it up with hunks of fresh bread. Our piri piri bushes are covered with little red chillis crying out, ( you will be ) to be picked and taken to the kitchen. There are so many recipes for harissa, using either fresh or dried chillis. The quantities vary with each one so I took the plunge and decided it should be as hot as you
want it.

Harissa
100g fresh hot piri piri chillies
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
3 tablespoons coriander seeds
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt
5-6 tablespoons olive oil

Grind the cumin and coriander seeds finely.
Put the ground spices, chillies, garlic and salt in a food processor and whizz to a stiff paste. with the machine running, slowly add the olive oil through he feed tube until the paste becomes smooth.

Harissa Chicken with Jewelled cous cous
 (per person)
1 boned and skinless chicken breast
Harissa paste

Jewelled cous cous ( recipe in "crown jewels" blog , coming soon )

Method
Smear the chicken breast all over with harissa paste.
Cover and put in the fridge for at least an hour.

Heat the oven to 200c. Put the chicken on a lightly oiled roasting tray. 
Pop in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until done. 
Once done, remove and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
Serve on top of jewelled cous cous

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