Monday, January 28, 2008

Haricots verts avec saucisse merguez et couscous a la tunisienne

Made a tasty green bean dish based on the harissa (tunisian chile sauce) I found in the supermarket. I'll try those ingredient lists Lillian seems so insistent upon.

Some garlic
Some sausage
Green beans

In this particular case I would estimate I used 400 g of green beans, 2 smallish merguez sausages (sorta a maghrebin chorizo; in fact I bet chorizo would be great for this dish) amounting to about 100 g, 4-5 cloves of lightly crushed garlic, 1 small onion, and a good spoonful of harissa.

So I sweated/lightly fried the sausage garlic, and onions (julienned) until the sausage was cooked, the onions becoming clear, and the garlic soft. The green beans, halved and with the stringy bit at the end cut off followed. I gave the whole a dash of red wine and balsamic vinegar (add those to ingredient list), set phasers to 3 (out of 10, so medium lowish?), and let it all cook with periodic tossing. Green beans are done when you bite them and they don't taste like grass; alternatively, when they get kinda pale green. Maybe 10 minutes.

The couscous I had was leftover and already cooked, so I just tossed it in with the harissa and took the whole thing off the heat to mix it up together. I imagine you could get the pan really hot, add the appropriate amount of liquid, and make the couscous right on top of everything else if you were starting from fresh.

Without my spice cabinet, the only garnish is lemon, but that isn't much complaint. I will be reprising this dish frequently this semester, it was very good and the most sinus clearing thing I've had since my arrival.


The Middle Child said...

Just a random linguistic note: Harissa is one of those really confusing terms that changes from country to country. So while in the Western Arabic countries, it means "hot sauce," in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon, it means "hot, sweet, milk based dessert". And in Egypt it means something else, but i don't recall what.

Lillian said...

Sounds like you have to be a bit adventurous to order harissa, since you don't know what you're going to get. Hot sauce...dessert...meh--whatever!