Have you ever had harissa, that hot and spicy condiment made red by combining chili peppers, garlic and perhaps some dry-roasted spices, then thrown into North African soups and stews for added flavor?
I liken harissa to the French pistou of North African cusine because, much like pistou, it is typically added to finished dishes for the fresh and pungent flavor it provides, to top off soups and stews, yet I would be perfectly happy dipping fresh rustic bread into a spoon of harissa (or pistou).
I recently taught a cooking class where we made a classic Moroccan dish: Chicken Tagine with Olives and Preserved Lemons, served with Couscous. We also made a homemade harissa to add to the tagine once it was on our plates, but with a new product on the market that offers harissa in a jar, made with healthy, high-quality ingredients, you could cut your cooking time down a bit while still incorporating a wonderful condiment into your dish.
Over on Twitter, I was able to ‘meet’ a company called Mina. They make three versions of harissa: a mild, medium, and a spicy version all sold in glass jars. Previously I had only ever seen one type of harissa in Middle Eastern markets and it’s in a can, much like tomato paste.
Mina is different in that you can actually see the product through its glass jar. They use only six simple ingredients in their harissa, so it’s also uncomplicated and natural.
Red bell pepper, red chili pepper, garlic, olive oil, vinegar and salt is all that’s in the Mina harissa brand
If you love North African cuisine (particularly Algerian, Moroccan, Libyan, Tunisian) food or you live to add spice to any cuisine, this product is for you. I don’t make North African cuisine too often, but I have found some clever and delicous ways to enjoy this valuable product at home:
- add to grilled cheese sandwiches or quesadillas
- use as a dip for tortilla chips
- mix with sour cream as a dip for breaded chicken or fish filets
- put a dollup into tuna or egg salad for a nice kick of flavor
- add to tacos instead of salsa
How would you use a product like Mina harissa with your favorite dishes?
Mina has been generous enough to offer to give away two jars of their harissa (mild and spicy) to one random winner who answers this question and the other guidelines listed below.
To enter the giveaway, simple follow the instructions below. A winner will be announced on December 20, 2011.
UPDATE: Congratulations to Erin L., winner of this giveaway! Erin will receive two jars of Mina Harissa. Congratulations, and thanks to everyone who participated!
Giveaway Guidelines and Details
Your answer in the comments section of this post will enter you into the giveaway for two 10-ounce jars of Mina Harissa.
Winners will be randomly chosen from those who follow the giveaway eligibility guidelines. Giveaway ends December 18, 2011 at 12:01 am CST. Winner will be announced on December 20, 2011.
To Enter the Giveaway (U.S. & Canadian residents only):
1) Leave a relevant comment after this post that answers the question: How would you use a product like Mina harissa with your favorite dishes?
Entries (comments plus other requirements) must be received by 12:00 am CST on December 18, 2011.
Thanks for participating and stay posted for more giveaways for other wonderful products this month!
Disclaimer: Mina Harissa provided me with free samples of their product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.