Have you met Harissa yet? If not let me introduce you to this fab condiment.  How much do I love harissa? So much that I always overdo it. I’ll use it to excess on everything in sight, then have to take a break from it for a while. I use it in stews, soups and sandwiches; as a topping for pizzas; to boost flavor in pastas; even on french fries. It truly is addictive. Well, for me, anyway.

This lovely red paste/sauce/condiment hails from North Africa and is prepared with chili peppers, ground coriander, cumin and olive oil. As with almost any other condiment, regional variations are the norm. And fair warning: It is super hot and spicy. You can make it mild, of course, by using milder peppers, but the heat is part of its charm.

Google it and you will find many recipes and many sources where you can buy it. I love the Cava brand.

One of my favorite ways to use it is in this super-simple recipe. It really doesnt require any effort and yet tastes so marvelous. SO here is what you do –

Monica’s Harissa Smeared Chicken

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan on medium heat. Add about a pound and a half of diced chicken. Cook for about 8 – 10 minutes until the chicken is completely cooked through. Now add harissa to taste – start with a tablespoon and if you like more heat, add more. Mix well. Toss in a 1/4 cup of peanuts and two handfuls of steamed green beans. Mix well. Check seasoning – you may need some salt.

Serve with a smile.

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