Mimesis and Violence

September 21, 2008, 11:08 pm
Filed under: Food, Recipes

My recipes from tonight’s potluck:

Harissa (Surprise!)

A mildly inauthentic but not at all mild north-African style chili paste.

* 20 dried chili de arbol
* 4-5 ancho chilies (dried poblanos)
* 2 habanero or scotch bonnet chilies
* 8 cloves garlic
* 1 tablespoon whole cumin
* 1/2 teaspoon coriander or caraway seeds
* 1/4 cup olive oil

– Remove the stems from the dried peppers (ancho, de arbol), discard about half the seeds, and let them soak in water for 10-15 minutes.
– Crush the garlic, cumin, and coriander/caraway in a mortar and pestle (alternative: food processor).
– Strain most of the water from the dried chilies, add the garlic mixture, and pound into a bloody pulp with a pestle (alternative: food process).
– Admire your new forearm strength.
– Roast the habaneros under a broiler for a few minutes – until their skin is lightly scarred with burn.
– Seed the habaneros (DON’T TOUCH YOUR EYES), add to the harissa mixture, and unleash a fury of blows onto it with a pestle or machete.
– Feed to unsuspecting friends with excess machismo and a taste for spice.


* 3.5 cups chickpeas (canned or dried and soaked overnight)
* 1/2 cup tahina (roughly)
* 1/2 cup olive (roughly)
* Juice of 3 lemons
* 4-5 mushrooms
* 1 teaspoon harissa or cayenne pepper
* Salt and (fresh ground) pepper

– Mix 3 cups chickpeas, tahina, olive oil, lemon juice in a bowl and chop/crush with a mezzaluna chopper until they reach a chunky puree (alternatively: food processor).
– Add salt and pepper to taste and let the hummus chill covered for a bit.
– Saute the remaining chickpeas in a few tablespoons olive oil with the mushrooms and harissa until suitably delicious smelling.
– Serve the mushroom/chickpea mixture hot over the chilled hummus.

Falafel (balls)

* 4 cups chickpeas
* 4 large handfuls parsley, finely chopped
* 3 large handfuls cilantro, finely chopped
* 8 cloves garlic
* 1 finely diced shallot
* 1 tablespoon cumin
* 1 teaspoon harissa
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 3 heaping tablespoons flour
* Soybean oil for frying

– Crush garlic, shallot, cumin, and harissa in a mortar and pestle.
– Mix together chickpeas, parsley, cilantro, and garlic mixture. Crush/chop into a pasty mixture with a mezzaluna chopper or a food processor.
– Add the baking powder and flour, mix in thoroughly until the mixture is easily formed into cohesive balls. If this doesn’t work you can add a little olive oil to lubricate the works.
– Form small balls with your hands or with a spoon. Fry them in about 3 inches of hot oil in a wok, pan, or deep fryer until brown and delicious looking.


1 Comment so far
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Cupcakes were from Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery: http://www.sugarsweetsunshine.com/

Comment by ak

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