Thursday, November 25, 2010

Harissa in a hurry

What more can I ask for than something that’s quick, easy and tasty?

Harissa in a hurry

At last! I get to debut the new camera! For those who missed it, I bought a new Panasonic Lumix G2 camera. It’s kind of like a small DSLR. It’s pretty cool, although I have no idea on how to use even half the functions on it, but that will come with using it and reading about it a bit, which I’ve done a little of already. Unfortunately though, I’ve only got the one photo to show of Harissa chicken with lentil mash – it was dinner one night during last week and I was kind of in a hurry.

Harissa chicken with lentil mash
This dish has only very recently made it into my mid-week dinner repertoire. I found it in the Winter issue of Donna Hay Magazine, tried it, and we both really liked it. Actually, I first made this not long after starting my blog, and Emperor D suggested even then that I should post about it. It’s very easy and very quick to make and very tasty to eat. The chicken breast – use free range please, if you can! – is simply tossed in some olive oil, sea salt and black pepper, plus some harissa, which is a spice paste from North Africa, especially Tunisia. You can buy it in gourmet shops and good supermarkets, but there’s loads of recipes out there if you need to make it. A quick search turned up this one, which looks very easy, but I’ve got no idea how authentic it would be.

The great thing about this recipe is that it can be thrown together in the time it takes to boil and mash potatoes. The lentils are a nice touch when they’re mixed with the mash. I think lentils are a seriously underrated and under-used ingredient in Australian households; they’re so easy to cook with (especially the tinned variety) and very healthy too.

The spiciness of the harissa provides a nice contrast with the starchy potatoes; quick, tasty and healthy for a mid-week dinner.

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