Posted in What's for Dinner Mom?

Harissa Pork Chops with Moroccan Couscous

You are unlikely to find a jar of harissa paste lurking around the supermarket shelves in this particular corner of the globe.  It will more likely be waiting amidst a tantalising display of goodies in a specialist food or deli shop.  I am racking my brains to remember where I picked this particular jar up and I think it might have been in The Stuffed Olive in Bantry (if you’ve never been, go, you will love it).  After another stay of execution in my cupboards for a few months the time finally arrived to try it out.
Harissa Paste
Harissa Pork Chop on Couscous
Credited with North African origins, harissa is a spicy paste with numerous variations though most that I’ve come across feature chillies, caraway and coriander, sometimes there is lemon juice and garlic with the particular jar that I have surprising me by including beetroot and carrot though I suspect this was more for colour than flavour.
Harissa Pork Chop close up
Harissa Pork Chops
Harissa Pork Chops don’t really call for a recipe as they are simply chops smeared on both sides with a little harissa paste and olive oil and then seared on a hot pan to colour either side before finishing off cooking through in a moderately heated oven.
Morocan CouscousMoroccan Couscous
(This recipe is one taken from my book)
You will need:
15g unsalted butter
250g couscous
250ml chicken stock
2 peppers (1 red & 1 green)
Half a cucumber
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp mild chilli powder
Small handful raisins
125ml olive oil
4 tbsp white wine vinegar
Small handful fresh coriander
Small handful fresh flat leaf parsley
Melt the butter in a saucepan over a low to medium heat.
Add the couscous and cook for 2 minutes.
Take pan off the heat and pour over the hot chicken stock.  Cover the saucepan with clingfilm or lid and leave to stand for 5 minutes.
Remove the clingfilm or lid and fluff up the couscous with a fork.
Deseed and chop the peppers into cubes, peel and cube the cucumber and add to the cous cous.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a low heat and add the ground coriander, mild chilli powder and raisins and cook for a couple of minutes to plump up the raisins.
Stir the white vinegar into the frying pan and mix with the raisin and spices.
Pour the raisin mixture over the couscous and mix well.
Finely chop the fresh coriander and parsley and mix through the couscous.
‘Til next time, Sheila