May 18, 2014
Greetings lovely readers! We finally made it back to our mountains after a week long trek to Florida. It was wonderful to see my family, including my cousins whom I hadn’t seen in YEARS. That was the good part. The bad part? Well, whenever we travel for longer than a day or two, I make sure to have hotel accommodations that include a kitchenette, so we can still eat healthy. I booked a room in a cute motel (and old mom and pop sort of place) and was told there was a full-sized fridge. We arrived to find a teeny refrigerator with a freezer the size of a shoebox! And the cookware was old and aluminum! Oh, my. Not good at all. I had planned a menu and brought all kinds of food to prepare…
Most people buy a pre-made Harissa paste. Instead of making a paste, I just used peppers to create this tasty sauce and the result was wonderful. I used a combination of roasted red bell peppers and dried New Mexico red peppers. Since my NM peppers didn’t have a lot of heat, I also added some hot sauce. Harissa is known to be quite spicy! Use whatever peppers suit your fancy for this dish…
- 3 cups unsalted cooked chickpeas (or two 15-oz. cans)
- 1 pound potatoes, cut into 1″ cubes
~ for the sauce
- 4 large red bell peppers, roasted (see my recipe for roasted red pepper sauce here for how to roast)
- 10 dried chile peppers of your choice
- 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
- 1 cup water
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 TBS ground cardamom
- 1 TBS ground cumin
- 1 TBS ground coriander
- 1 tsp caraway seeds
- 2 TBS fruit-only apricot preserves
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 TBS raw cashew butter
- hot sauce to taste (optional, depending on the heat of your chile peppers)
- Steam the cubed potatoes until tender. Set aside.
- Roast the red bell peppers. Let cool and set aside.
- Remove the stems and the seeds from the dried chiles and soak in pure water until soft (about 1 hour). Drain the soak water and rinse the peppers.
- When the roasted peppers are cool enough to handle, remove the skins and the seeds and place into a food processor with the soaked chile peppers and the remaining sauce ingredients.
- Process until smooth.
- Place the sauce into a pot and simmer on low for about 30 minutes.
- Combine the sauce with the potatoes and the chickpeas and simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Serve over your favorite whole grain for a satisfying meal.
Serves 6-8. Enjoy!