LTH Home

Harissa Help

Harissa Help
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
     Page 1 of 2
  • Harissa Help

    Post #1 - April 9th, 2009, 1:15 pm
    Post #1 - April 9th, 2009, 1:15 pm Post #1 - April 9th, 2009, 1:15 pm
    Hi,
    I recently came across a recipe that uses Harissa. I've never used the stuff. Anyone know where I can buy it in (preferably) the north suburbs?
    TIA
    Dave
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #2 - April 9th, 2009, 1:37 pm
    Post #2 - April 9th, 2009, 1:37 pm Post #2 - April 9th, 2009, 1:37 pm
    Hi,

    I would call Garden Fresh in Northbrook, since they have quite a bit of ethnic food.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #3 - April 9th, 2009, 1:54 pm
    Post #3 - April 9th, 2009, 1:54 pm Post #3 - April 9th, 2009, 1:54 pm
    I've never had two harissas that are the same: I'm quite fond of what Pita Inn serves: lots of garlic, it's very close to a Mexican salsa.
    I have bought two different ones from specialty stores, and I'm happy with neither. The first was extremely bitter and I threw it away.
    The second has the texture of a tomato paste, and some flavors I can't quite place but probably includes caraway (based on recipes I've seen online).

    You can probably get away with a red salsa that's more oriented toward chile than tomato/onion. A thicker hot sauce might do.

    I just checked a couple cookbooks:
    "The Arab Table" by May S. Bsisu (a teriffic book, by the way), merely says, "Harissa is a hot red sauce from Morocco and Tunisa, used as a condiment in many North African dishes. There are several variations of the sauce, but my favorite is the simple blend of sun-dried chiles, garlic and olive oil. Some other combinations include cumin, coriander, mint and caraway."

    "A Season in Morocco - A Culinary Journey" by Meera Freeman (a better coffee-table photo book than a cookbook) has a recipe that is pretty much as simple as above, blending fresh red chiles, salt, lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #4 - April 9th, 2009, 2:33 pm
    Post #4 - April 9th, 2009, 2:33 pm Post #4 - April 9th, 2009, 2:33 pm
    I do like Pita Inn's version as well. Yesterday, the Wheeling loc was smokin hot. I place it's flavor and profile as Mexican blender tomato salsa with about three times the amount of cumin you'd normally put in.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #5 - April 9th, 2009, 3:42 pm
    Post #5 - April 9th, 2009, 3:42 pm Post #5 - April 9th, 2009, 3:42 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Hi,

    I would call Garden Fresh in Northbrook, since they have quite a bit of ethnic food.

    Regards,


    Yep. Garden Fresh was my first choice. I stopped by there yesterday. No such luck.
    Thanks anyway.
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #6 - April 9th, 2009, 4:05 pm
    Post #6 - April 9th, 2009, 4:05 pm Post #6 - April 9th, 2009, 4:05 pm
    JoelF wrote:I've never had two harissas that are the same:

    Yes, exactly, no two seem to be the same. I've also found that what goes for harrisa in many places is more along the lines of sambal oelek, often straight from the jar, available in most Asian groceries.

    I've purchased harissa at Sahar Meat Market, of the brands they carry the consensus is, and I agree, Le Phare Cap Bon is preferred.

    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    4829 North Kedzie
    Chicago, IL 60625
    773-583-6098
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #7 - April 10th, 2009, 6:37 am
    Post #7 - April 10th, 2009, 6:37 am Post #7 - April 10th, 2009, 6:37 am
    Hi,

    I was at Sanabel Pita bakery this morning. I picked you up a can of harissa, if you haven't collected one yet.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #8 - April 10th, 2009, 10:25 am
    Post #8 - April 10th, 2009, 10:25 am Post #8 - April 10th, 2009, 10:25 am
    Fox & Obel carries harissa as well.
  • Post #9 - April 11th, 2009, 6:17 pm
    Post #9 - April 11th, 2009, 6:17 pm Post #9 - April 11th, 2009, 6:17 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Hi,

    I was at Sanabel Pita bakery this morning. I picked you up a can of harissa, if you haven't collected one yet.

    Regards,


    Thanks again to Cathy for the drop shipment. My recipe only calls for a small amount. Will the unused stuff keep in the fridge for a while?
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #10 - April 11th, 2009, 6:42 pm
    Post #10 - April 11th, 2009, 6:42 pm Post #10 - April 11th, 2009, 6:42 pm
    HI,

    I don't much experience with it. I would be inclined to get it into a glass jar for longer term refrigerated storage.

    Glad I could help!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #11 - April 11th, 2009, 6:58 pm
    Post #11 - April 11th, 2009, 6:58 pm Post #11 - April 11th, 2009, 6:58 pm
    I've bought it at Cost Plus.
  • Post #12 - April 11th, 2009, 7:12 pm
    Post #12 - April 11th, 2009, 7:12 pm Post #12 - April 11th, 2009, 7:12 pm
    kafein wrote:I've bought it at Cost Plus.

    Why didn't I think of that? Thanks for the tip.
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #13 - May 10th, 2009, 6:13 pm
    Post #13 - May 10th, 2009, 6:13 pm Post #13 - May 10th, 2009, 6:13 pm
    Dave148 wrote:
    Cathy2 wrote:Hi,

    I would call Garden Fresh in Northbrook, since they have quite a bit of ethnic food.

    Regards,


    Yep. Garden Fresh was my first choice. I stopped by there yesterday. No such luck.
    Thanks anyway.

    Harissa was present at Garden Fresh, though under another name just to fool you. While it was placed directly next to a jar of tahini, it was named "Hot Red Pepper Sauce" instead of Harissa. If you didn't know what you were looking for, it was easy to overlook.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #14 - May 10th, 2009, 6:24 pm
    Post #14 - May 10th, 2009, 6:24 pm Post #14 - May 10th, 2009, 6:24 pm
    Thanks for the update. I'm still working through my original stash.
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #15 - January 13th, 2010, 1:12 pm
    Post #15 - January 13th, 2010, 1:12 pm Post #15 - January 13th, 2010, 1:12 pm
    Want to marinate flank steak with harissa & some other ingredients.
    Anyone ever used?? Comments, please.

    Where can I purchase Harissa paste in Chicago.

    Thanks,

    Wally Wade
  • Post #16 - January 13th, 2010, 3:55 pm
    Post #16 - January 13th, 2010, 3:55 pm Post #16 - January 13th, 2010, 3:55 pm
    I want to marinate a Tri-Tip.
    Anyone ever used it???
    Like it???
    Not worth the effort???
    Thanks
    Wally Wade
  • Post #17 - January 13th, 2010, 4:19 pm
    Post #17 - January 13th, 2010, 4:19 pm Post #17 - January 13th, 2010, 4:19 pm
    DIY: I made a harissa I'm pretty happy with. It's nothing like Pita Inn's, but I think I've hit on a couple of the flavor keys.

    A recipe I found online used finely diced roasted red pepper, garlic plus crushed red pepper and caraway seed. Another recipe said to use fresh mint. Another some coriander powder. Another used only dried chiles.

    The mint (I only had recently-dried from my winter CSA) and caraway together really sealed the deal. A little sugar and olive oil, hit hard in the blender, made a pretty good paste.

    The closest to what I used is Epicurious' recipe, plus some dried mint. You could probably get away starting with a jar of roasted red peppers.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #18 - January 13th, 2010, 4:44 pm
    Post #18 - January 13th, 2010, 4:44 pm Post #18 - January 13th, 2010, 4:44 pm
    JoelF, you're getting perilously close (minus the walnuts, breadcrumbs and pomegranate syrup) to harissa's bastard cousin muhammara, which I make regularly. Epicurious' recipe hits all the right notes:

    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/ ... ara-350402
  • Post #19 - January 13th, 2010, 7:34 pm
    Post #19 - January 13th, 2010, 7:34 pm Post #19 - January 13th, 2010, 7:34 pm
    Yeah, I fell in love with muhamarra from a recipe in (late lamented) Gourmet. Especially starting with jarred red peppers with olive oil and garlic, it's a quick thing to take to a party. Definitely don't forget the pomegranate molasses -- a nice little sweet and sour kick, and an ingredient I need to find more uses for.

    But Harissa is a condiment you use on other things -- muhamarra is a dip/spread more like hummus.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #20 - January 13th, 2010, 9:42 pm
    Post #20 - January 13th, 2010, 9:42 pm Post #20 - January 13th, 2010, 9:42 pm
    I've been using harissa from Cap Bon in Tunisia for the last 50 years and I still think it is the best, especially if you can find it in tubes. Otherwise buy it in small cans in one of the grocery stores around Kedzie and Lawrence in Chicago.
    Once you opened the can put in a small jar and keep topping it up with fresh olive oil so that it does not get dried up
  • Post #21 - January 13th, 2010, 10:26 pm
    Post #21 - January 13th, 2010, 10:26 pm Post #21 - January 13th, 2010, 10:26 pm
    But Harissa is a condiment you use on other things -- muhamarra is a dip/spread more like hummus.


    I'm plenty familiar with both (and Middle Eastern cuisines in general). While harissa certainly lacks the body to stand alone, there's no rigid rule against using muhamarra as a condiment. One of the best falafel sandwiches I ever ate was at Beirut Cafe's stand at the Ostermalm food hall in Stockholm, served with a very spicy muhamarra condiment.
  • Post #22 - January 13th, 2010, 10:36 pm
    Post #22 - January 13th, 2010, 10:36 pm Post #22 - January 13th, 2010, 10:36 pm
    alain40 wrote:I've been using harissa from Cap Bon in Tunisia for the last 50 years and I still think it is the best, especially if you can find it in tubes. Otherwise buy it in small cans in one of the grocery stores around Kedzie and Lawrence in Chicago.
    Once you opened the can put in a small jar and keep topping it up with fresh olive oil so that it does not get dried up


    Yes, definitely agree on all points there, Alain... not 50 years for me but maybe 30-35... (yikes!)... lol

    Back in April of this year in this same thread , GWiv linked to an older thread, and specifically to an old post of mine, in which harissa is briefly discussed...
    Image
    Wonderful stuff...

    I love the little tins as well...

    A
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #23 - January 13th, 2010, 10:42 pm
    Post #23 - January 13th, 2010, 10:42 pm Post #23 - January 13th, 2010, 10:42 pm
    rykappes wrote:Fox & Obel carries harissa as well.


    Yes, but have you looked at the price?!?
    :shock: :roll: :lol:
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #24 - January 13th, 2010, 10:51 pm
    Post #24 - January 13th, 2010, 10:51 pm Post #24 - January 13th, 2010, 10:51 pm
    We have the best harissa you will ever find, it is a world apart from anything in a can. It is made by a family whose farm is in Tunis, and they are fourth generation farmers who use organically grown chile peppers. They are a company who cares about the Earth and the the manner in which they grow their produce, and they mix the chiles with the other organic ingredients involved in their formula, and we feel this is important. I met them via an email, and I find this one of the most wondrerful aspects of the internet, as they perceive quality in the same way my family does, so we forged an instant bond. Unusually, they also make two versions, a sweet and a hot, even though most people have never heard of a sweet harissa. http://www.thespicehouse.com/spices/har ... ili-spread
  • Post #25 - January 14th, 2010, 8:53 am
    Post #25 - January 14th, 2010, 8:53 am Post #25 - January 14th, 2010, 8:53 am
    Thanks for the info Cinnamon Girl. Next time, when my reserve of tubes is depleted, I'll stop by the Spice House, quite a nice store to visit anyway...
  • Post #26 - January 21st, 2010, 7:22 pm
    Post #26 - January 21st, 2010, 7:22 pm Post #26 - January 21st, 2010, 7:22 pm
    Thanks to ALL
    Bought Cap Bon Harissa Paste.
    in the tin from Fox & Obel.
    Made a tri-tip using the harissa marinade from
    www.chow.com.
    Marinated for 10 hrs.
    OUTSTANDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111

    Wally Wade
  • Post #27 - July 17th, 2011, 11:06 pm
    Post #27 - July 17th, 2011, 11:06 pm Post #27 - July 17th, 2011, 11:06 pm
    What about homemade harissa? Courtesy of Saveur:

    8 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed
    and seeded (about 2 oz.)
    8 dried new mexico chiles, stemmed
    and seeded (about 1 1⁄2 oz.)
    1⁄2 tsp. caraway seeds
    1⁄4 tsp. coriander seeds
    1⁄4 tsp. cumin seeds
    1 tsp. dried mint leaves
    3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil,
    plus more as needed
    1 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
    5 cloves garlic
    Juice of 1 lemon

    See link for method.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #28 - March 24th, 2013, 5:39 am
    Post #28 - March 24th, 2013, 5:39 am Post #28 - March 24th, 2013, 5:39 am
    I have a recipe I want to make that calls for Harissa. I have been all over with no luck.
    Any ideas where I can find it?
  • Post #29 - March 24th, 2013, 5:43 am
    Post #29 - March 24th, 2013, 5:43 am Post #29 - March 24th, 2013, 5:43 am
    The search function is your friend. Try this thread. Good luck!
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)
  • Post #30 - March 24th, 2013, 11:19 am
    Post #30 - March 24th, 2013, 11:19 am Post #30 - March 24th, 2013, 11:19 am
    Cap Bon is the best. Used to get at Fox & Obel in Chicago. They stopped carrying for at least 2 years. I once substituted a Mexican variety. Too hot & sharp.
    While Cap Bon brings some heat, it is smooth & mellow. Great on a Tri-Tip Roast. I would check the ethnic stores south of Foster & east of Clark.
    DON'T JUST ASK FOR HARISSA, BUT EXPRESSLY REQUEST CAP BON. You don't want to take a ride for nothing.
    Trying to find Cap Bon is worth the effort.

    Wally Wade

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more