Dry Harissa Spice Mix by Kevin

The next supper was a Moroccan inspired meal. For one of the dishes I wanted to make a broth. I decided to make this spice mix.

What you'll need:

  • 4 teaspoons cumin seed, toasted and lightly ground
  • 4 teaspoons coriander seed, toasted and lightly ground
  • 8 tablespoons dried chilli, chopped finely
  • 4 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons seas salt
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds, toasted and finely ground
  • 1½ teaspoons garlic powder

In a frying pan place the seeds and toast them till they become fragrant. Don't let them burn. I used a mix of different dried chillis I had floating around. Place all the seeds in a mortar and pestle or dedicated coffee grinder, work them down. Mix all the ingredients together. It's all pretty simple and that's that. Give it a few days to settle and combine.


Supper Happened July 4th! by Kevin

Sorry about how far behind I am on these supper posts. It's been a bit hectic lately. So today, I hope to tell you about two supper that have happened! This was somewhat of a hurried supper, I had been working Galway at the Ocean Race and came back on the train to Dublin the night beforehand and was on a train back to Galway in the early hours of the morning the Thursday morning.

ImageThe idea for the dinner came to me while I was at Corleggy Cheese's farm preparing to go to Galway. I decided if I was going to be on the West Coast of Ireland I should mainly use what I could get my hands on there. I thought to myself that I'd just ask around the market and see who had the best mussels BUT everyone was talking about Marty's Mussels. So I went and found the number for them called and voilà, mussels. I talked to Catherine Nee (Marty's wife) she informed me all about their mussels, she also brought them to Dublin for me, which was very,very appreciated. They're rope grown, they've got a thinner shell and cook quicker than most mussels I've used in the past. I arrive in Dublin to find these waiting for me:

I got home Tuesday and began to prep, decided I was tired. So relaxed. I had my little sister over the next morning, so the Wednesday turned out to be a very busy day. The supper was easy and very manageable, the main prep came with the making of the ice-cream. The idea to infuse it with elderflower came when I was on the farm, the only problem was getting it to Dublin five days later. We had been infusing vodka with elderflower for some other fun projects so I decided to borrow some of it and make a syrup. I cooked down the vodka with some extra elderflower in it with 4 tablespoons of sugar, boiled off the alcohol. So I used the syrup as the sugar in the custard. Job done, I had elderflower custard. Left it to chill in the fridge for 8 hours or so. I got gooseberries from the McNallys and cooked them down with lemon juice and sugar. We served it with gingerbread people.

Cooking the mussels was simple, at Marty's they debeard nd clean all the mussels. I made my harissa and got a huge amount of coriander. In the bottom of my largest post I heated oil with chopped garlic and shallots.  When te oil was hot enough I added the mussels with a glass of dry white wine.  I didn't necessarily need the wine, but I want to get a good bit of steam to make sure I could get all the mussels cooked properly...I hadn't gotten around to cooking 5kg of mussels went ok. There was a bit of pot shaking, but I just left them to it. IT was great with the thinner shells they cooked great. I put about 2/3 of the batch  into a large hot pot and lay it out on the table, sprinkled chopped coriander over the top and it was ready to go.

As we worked our way through the mussels I served slices of sourdough bread to start to soak up the wonderful spicy juice in the bottom of the pot. With this meal we also had battered aubergines covered in honey infused with rosemary. With Aubergines I always try to get as much liquid out of them as possible before cooking with them. Battered aubergines are not the prettiest things in the world but that taste great. I also made a seaweed salad, with this salad, I rehydrated a mix of seaweeds and washed out a good bit of the saltiness. I then mixed the seaweed with spinach and some seared broadbeans, dressed it in a honey, lemon and dijon mustard dressing.

It all went well. The ice-cream was fresh and light, it was refreshing after a spicy and salty dinner.

Zhoug (a kind of green harissa) by Kevin

Today has been a very busy day. Making condiments left right and centre. Zhoug is excellent with fish and rice. It doesn't last very long in the fridge but you'll have it for 2 weeks or so. It's just that the fresh coriander doesn't like sitting about very much.

Yep, spelled it wrong on the label. Damn you letter n

What you'll need:

  • 250g long green chillies
  • ½ teaspoon green cardamom seeds, green husks removed, finely ground
  • ⅓ teaspoon coriander seeds, ground
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, ground
  • 4 tablespoon of roughly chopped fresh coriander
  • 1½ cloves of garlic
  • a small squeese of lemon
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt & pepper

Chop the stems off chillis, cut them in half then with a teaspoon scrap membrane and seeds from the inside and roughly chop. Put everything except lemon and oil in a blender and pulse till everything is smooth. Transfer everything to a mixing bowl and add lemon and oil. Mix well and place in a sterilised jar. You should end up with just above 250g of Zhoug.


Harissa by Kevin

So I love harissa. It's wonderful. You should always have it in the kitchen/fridge. This keeps really well in a sealed jar. Pop abit of olive oil on top to keep the air off it.

Smoked Harissa D:

What you'll need:

  • 250g long, fresh red chillies
  • sea salt
  • 3 heaped teaspoons of caraway seeds, ground
  • 3 heaped teaspoons of cumin seeds, ground
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 roasted & peeled red bell pepper
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of tomato purée
  • 1 and bit tablespoon of red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


Chop the stems off chillis, cut them in half then with a teaspoon scrap membrane and seeds from the inside and roughly chop. Blend them with a pinch of salt, half of each of the spice seeds and the garlic cloves until smooth. Keep blending till they're smooth (no little bits) Add the bell pepper and the rest of the spice seeds, the purée and vinegar, and blend again until very smooth. Transfer it to a mixing bowl. Add the olive oil. Don't add the oil when in the blender. Blending the oil in will make the harissa turn a creamy colour. Sprinkle paprika on top of the oil and stir in. Taste and season if you need to balance the vinegar.

I sterilised two 220g jars and it pretty much fills these. In the batch I made today I used some amazing smoked olive oil I pick up in Fallon & Byrne a while ago. Everything for this recipe came from F&B which is rather handy.