Good morning, world. Today is the launch of my partnership with McCormick Spices, and I couldn’t be more excited. I only work with companies and products that I really believe in, and as someone who uses McCormick spices on a daily basis, this was definitely a perfect match. This year, they are presenting the 2012 Flavor Forecast, a look into what is new and fresh this year in food. Not only are the photographs on the website absolutely beautiful (I’m a sucker for some well done food photography), but the recipes are actually really creative and fun – I will certainly be making some of them myself, which is refreshing to see from a big brand name. You can get more information on the Flavor Forecast on Facebook, and also feel free to ask me any questions about new flavors for 2012 on The Crepes of Wrath Facebook page. McCormick is branching out this year, and they’ve got a bunch of new products that seem to focus a lot of Asian and Middle Eastern flavors, which are some of my favorites – I’m really thrilled to be working with them and I look forward to the challenge of creating interesting recipes in the coming year.
On that note, let’s begin. I’m sure you all love Sriracha, right? It’s my second favorite condiment, after mustard, of course, and I put it on almost everything; eggs, toast, avocado, sushi, dumplings, noodles, rice…the possibilities are endless. Now, however, I have found a new hot sauce favorite, and it goes by the name harissa. I will always have a big ol’ bottle of Sriracha in my refrigerator, don’t get me wrong, but this Spicy Harissa is a great way to change things up, and best of all, it’s really easy to make at home. I usually eat my harissa on top of falafel, chicken, or even something simple like scrambled eggs. It’s a fresh new way to spice up your everyday meals. If you’re a hot sauce fanatic like me, then don’t get left behind on the hottest hot sauce trends (do you like what I did there?).
- 2 red bell peppers
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon caraway seeds (I happened to have whole ones and used them, but ground caraway seeds are fine, too)
- ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 3 red chile peppers (I used habanero peppers, because I like a lot of heat; if you like it less spicy, use red jalapeno or Serrano peppers)
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)
- Begin by blackening your red bell peppers. Preheat your broiler. Cut off the tops and bottoms, then slice them in half. Remove any of the white pith from the inside of the peppers, then place them, insides facing down, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Broil your peppers until the skin has mostly blackened, about 5 minutes or so, then remove from the oven and set aside to cool enough to handle.
- When the peppers are cool enough to handle, go ahead and peel the skins away from the peppers (they should come off relatively easily). Give the peppers a rough chop and add them to your food processor.
- Now, quickly toast your spices. Place your salt, cumin, coriander, caraway, and black pepper in a dry pan and toast over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Remove from the heat and add to your food processor with your bell peppers. Now you can also add in your minced chile peppers, minced garlic, and olive oil. Pulse until the sauce is a smooth puree, taste, and add more seasonings as desired. This will keep well in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week, or can be served immediately with a few fresh cilantro leaves on top as garnish. Serve alongside your favorite vegetables, proteins, or even as a salsa with pita or tortilla chips.