If you haven’t tried Moroccan Harissa before, listen up. It’s a lovely pepper sauce blend made with chili peppers, bell peppers, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, salt. That’s it. And it’s totally delicious.
Harissa is a staple of Tunisian and Moroccan cuisine, and it is the central condiment in kitchens in North Africa used as a spread, a dip or drizzled on top of nearly any dish. Versatile as it is, you can pair it with lamb or pork, fish, chicken or beef as a marinade or base for a Moroccan tagine dish. Drizzle some over couscous and grilled vegetables, or use it as a dressing for potatoes or dip some grilled flatbread or pita in it.
I first tried Mina Harissa Pepper Sauce last year when I met owner and creator Mina from Casablanca Foods at the Just Food Conference, and fell in love. They were giving away samples of their red pepper Harissa sauce that came in three different styles (Mild, Medium and Spicy). It had just the right amount of heat, and tons of flavor from the chilies, bell peppers and garlic.
They now have a new flavor made with green chilies and green peppers that is equally delicious with a medium spicy heat and tangy flavor. I was lucky enough to sample some of this new green goodness sauce and created a tasty, fun recipe to go with it – Spiced Moroccan Burgers with Green Harissa, Feta and Mint over Grilled Pita. The burgers are mildly spiced with cumin, ancho chile, onion, garlic and mint, then served over grilled pita and topped with the green harissa sauce, crumbly fresh feta, chopped fresh mint and sun dried tomatoes. They’re super easy to make, and super flavorful with the delicious blend of spices, fresh herbs and ingredients. Enjoy!
Learn more about Mina Harissa
Shop for Mina Harissa products online at Abe’s Market or Amazon.com
Spiced Moroccan Burgers with Green Harissa, Feta and Mint
- SPICED MOROCCAN BURGERS
- 1 pound ground beef or lamb
- 3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup mint, chopped
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ancho chile powder
- 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons garlic herb infused oil, for basting
- 1/2 cup Mina Harissa Green Harissa Pepper Sauce
- 2-4 sun dried tomatoes, for garnish
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, for garnish
- 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped for garnish
- Dash of smoked paprika, for garnish
- GRILLED PITA BREAD
- 2-4 pieces of pita or flatbread
- 1-2 tablespoon garlic herb infused oil
- Sea Salt, for garnish
- Smoked paprika, for garnish
- Preheat a grill pan over medium high heat.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef or lamb with the next 8 ingredients (through minced garlic).
- Gently knead the meat mixture together until ingredients are combined, and make 4-6 burger patties in the shape of an oval, brush burger patties with herb infused oil and set aside.
- To make the grilled pita bread: drizzle a tablespoon of herb infused oil on to both sides of the pitas and grill for a few minutes on each side until lightly browned and grill marks appear. Cook each pita separately (depending on the size of your grill pan).
- Remove pita from pan and sprinkle with sea salt and smoked paprika, cover with foil to keep warm while burgers are cooking.
- Add the burger patties to the heated grill pan, and cook approximately 4 minutes on each side (for medium) until grill marks appear and they are cooked according to your liking.
- To serve, place a piece of pita bread on each plate (either whole or broken into two pieces) and place burgers on top of the pita (or in the pita if you prefer).
- Top burgers with sun dried tomatoes, feta cheese, green harissa sauce, fresh chopped mint, a dash of smoked paprika, additional salt and pepper if desired, to taste.
All recipes, photographs, copy and content on this post and website are copyrighted © 2010-2013 by Kristen Hess/The Artful Gourmet. Please do not use, share or distribute this content in any way without expressed permission from me first. I received a bottle of Mina Harissa Green Harissa Sauce for product sampling. All opinions expressed are my own and this is not a paid advertisement.
- Classic Greek Moussaka
Classic Greek Moussaka, (pronounced moos-sah-KAH) is one of the most well known of all Greek dishes and a staple “comfort food” and main course meal in Greece (as is Lasagna in Italy). This tasty Greek delight is a culinary experience to those who sample it for the first time. I first tried it when I worked at a Greek diner in Buffalo, New York during college, and then once again on a trip to the Greek Islands a couple of years ago. Needless to say, the real Greek Moussaka blew the Buffalo diner version to pieces, so I decided to take a stab at making it myself for my Big Fat Greek Birthday dinner party.
One of the most delicious versions of Moussaka I tasted was in Santorini, Greece. It was served in a glazed clay pot, and had a perfect mixture of spicy meat at the bottom, layered with potatoes and tender eggplant, and tons of béchamel and gooey cheese on top. The vegetables were steaming as I dug into this gorgeous meat and vegetable pie – my mouth watered at the sight and smell of it.
Moussaka can be made in many variations, but the classic recipe uses layers of eggplant, potatoes, a spicy meat and tomato sauce with a touch of cinnamon and a rich and delicious béchamel sauce and bubbly kefalotyri cheese on top. Other variations are Moussaka with zucchini or artichokes instead of eggplant, ground lamb instead of ground beef, or vegetarian-style with zucchini, eggplant and ootatoes without the meat. Either way you make it, with its warm and rich flavors and gooey cheese you’ll be hooked.
I made this recipe with zucchini and potatoes, and combined ground lamb with ground beef together. The combination of all the spices from the meat and seasonings soak into the vegetables and once you layer some creamy béchamel and gooey cheese on top, you’ve got yourself a delicious heartwarming dish. Be careful to pat dry the vegetables though before layering in the baking dish, as you don’t want the liquids to make the Moussaka too watery as they are cooked down in the oven.
You’ll need a lot of time and kitchen space to make this dish, and if you’re cooking for a crowd, you’ll be safe to double the recipe and make two large rectangular baking dishes of it, as it won’t last long. The flavors in this dish really improve if you
make it a day ahead. It’s also a very filling dish, so you may want to serve it as the main course, and accompany it with a Greek Salad, some Stuffed Grape Leaves and Tzaziki for a light side dish along with some Garlic Lemon Hummus and grilled pita. Serve with a red Greek wine and a shot of Ouzo as an aperitif.
3 large zucchini (or eggplants)
3 large potatoes
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 lg onions, chopped fine
1 lb ground lamb
1 lb ground beef
3 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup red Greek wine
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Fresh ground black pepper
1/4 lb butter
6 tbsp all purpose flour
1 quart of milk
4 eggs; beaten until frothy
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
2 cups ricotta or cottage cheese
1 cup fine bread crumbs
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
Cut the zucchini and potatoes into slices about 1/2 inch thick.
If using eggplant instead of zucchini, peel the eggplant first. Brown the zucchini slices quickly in 1/4 cup of the oil. Set aside.
remaining oil in the same skillet and cook the onions until they are
golden brown. Add the ground meat and cook 10 minutes. Pour off excess fat.
Combine the tomato paste with the wine, parsley, cinnamon, salt and
pepper. Stir this mixture into the meat and simmer over low heat,
stirring frequently, until all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove the
mixture from heat and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Make a white sauce by melting the butter
and blending in the flour, stirring with a wire whisk. Meanwhile,
bring the milk to a boil and add it gradually to the butter-flour mixture,
stirring constantly. When the mixture is thickened and smooth, remove
it from the heat. Cook slightly and stir in the beaten eggs, nutmeg and
Grease an 11×16-inch pan and sprinkle the bottom lightly with
crumbs. Arrange alternate layers of the zucchini and potatoes and meat sauce
in the pan, sprinkling each layer with parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Pour
the ricotta cheese bechamel sauce over the top and bake 1 hour, or until top is golden.
Remove from the oven and cool 20 to 30 minutes before serving. Cut
into squares and serve.
Beef Stroganoff is a dish that always reminds me of home – my mother used to make this on cold winter nights as a special treat for my Dad who is a total ‘meat and potatoes guy’ – obsessed with anything including beef, noodles and gravy. Maybe it’s a German-Polish thing?? She oftentimes prepared this dish with ground beef for a quick and easy dinner, but I’ve adapted her recipe a bit by adding a few extra ingredients to make my own savory version by adding some wine, fresh garlic and thyme. True comfort food for a chilly night, just like Mom made it.
Classic Comfort Food:: Beef Stroganoff
- ½ lb. fresh white mushrooms, sliced (2 cups)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tbsp butter
- ¼ c. flour
- 2 lbs. round steak (sliced ¼”-1/2” thick)
- 1 tsp kosher or sea salt
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 1/3 c. red wine
- 1 1/2 c beef broth
- 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped fine
- 1 c. sour cream
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped fine
- 1 package wide egg noodles
- Boil a large pot of water and cook egg noodles per directions. While water is boiling, heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
- Saute onion, mushrooms and garlic until soft in 2 tbsp butter and remove from pan.
- Cut steak into strips 2 ½” long and ¾” wide. Melt remaining 2 tbsp butter in pan. Toss steak strips in flour and coat. Brown meat in butter until well browned on both sides. Add salt and pepper, worcestershire, wine and broth. Simmer on low, stirring occasionally, until meat is tender (about 1 ¼ hours).
- Add mushrooms, onion, garlic, thyme and parsley and cook approximately 7 mins, until sauce thickens.
- Add sour cream, stir until smooth and remove from heat.
- Serve over hot buttered egg noodles and garnish with more parsley. Enjoy with some crusty bread, a green salad and a glass of red wine.
To make a casserole: combine beef stroganoff mixture with cooked egg noodles with butter and spoon into a greased casserole dish. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees in the oven and then top casserole with crunchy fried onions and bake 10 mins more until onions are crunchy and golden brown.
Other Beef Stroganoff Recipes you may enjoy:
Epicurious Beef Stroganoff
Rachel Ray’s Beef Stroganoff
Williams Sonoma Beef Stroganoff
Real Sloppy Joes
Ever since I got my new Williams-Sonoma cookbook, “Comfort Food”
for Christmas, I decided that Winter is a perfect time for staying in and
cooking and pursuing some comfort amidst the freezing and dismal
weather outside. So I’ve decided to cook my way through the book over
the next few months, and found a recipe for Sloppy Joes – a dish I haven’t
had in a looongg time. In fact, I think I’ve only tried them a handful of times
– growing up when my Mom wanted to make a quick dinner but something
tasty and savory.
Sloppy Joes have definitely gotten a bad rap, but this version ups the ante and
puts them back on the map for a delicious quick dish you can make on a weeknight
that’s hearty and spicy and filling. The ingredients are simple and basic: ground
beef, onions, peppers, celery and the sauce is a spicy-sweet tomato sauce that is
tangy and savory and just too good!
Since I wasn’t able to find bottled chili sauce, I made my own by using 3 parts ketchup
to 1 part Chili-Garlic sauce and a small amount of Sriracha sauce (you can find both of
these in an Asian supermarket). I also added a dash of onion salt and a dash of Paula
Deen’s House seasoning and a dash of Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning to add a little
extra spice and layer of flavors. If you want to make them a bit spicier, throw in a small
amount of chopped green chiles. Also, if you’re using frozen meat and defrosting it, make
sure it’s completely defrosted before cooking, or you’ll need to omit the ¼ c. of water that
the recipe calls for, otherwise the mixture will become too watery.
The key to making a delicious Sloppy Joe is to have a perfect balance between tangy, spicy
and sweet – not too tomatoey and not too sweet like a BBQ sauce. Also, the flavors meld
together as time goes on, so they actually taste better the next day! They are easy to make
and you’ll have leftovers for a few days if you’re eating for one or two. Serve these guys on
toasted buns with some melted cheese and a side of chips or fries. Mmmm-good!
Canola Oil, 1 tbsp
Yellow Onions, 1, diced
Celery, 1 stalk, diced
Green bell pepper, 1, finely diced
Ground Beef, 1.5 lbs
Tomato Sauce, 1 c
Ketchup-style chili sauce, ½ c.
Worcestershire Sauce, 1 tbsp
Dijon Mustard, 1 tbsp
Cider Vinegar, 1 tbsp
Light Brown Sugar, 1 tbsp firmly packed
Kosher Salt, 1 tsp
Fresh ground pepper, ¼ tsp
Sesame-seed or Whole Wheat Sandwich buns, 6 split, toasted
In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and bell
pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 5 minutes.
Add the beef and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring and breaking up
the beef with a wooden spoon, until it is no longer pink, about 10 minutes.
Stir in ¼ c. water, the tomato sauce, chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, vinegar,
sugar, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer,
stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes to blend the flavors.
Toast the buns. Place the bottom halves of the buns, cut side up, on warmed individual plates
and top with the beef mixture, dividing it equally. Cover with the bun tops and serve right away.
Makes 6 sandwiches
Slow Cooked Beef Short Ribs
This is a really easy to make hearty meal for a chilly winter night. All you need are some gorgeous beef short ribs, onions, tomatoes, vinegar and brown sugar and a few other ingredients – throw them all in the slow cooker on low and let this dish stew for about 4-5 hours. Make sure you’re hungry - it’s filling, warm and delicious. Definitely food coma material!
1/3 c. water
¼ c. tomato paste
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp prepared mustard
2 tsp seasoned salt (Paula Deen’s House Seasoning)
2 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp beef bouillon granules
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 can Belgian mini baby carrots, drained
2 lbs beef short ribs
1 small tomato, chopped (or 1 small can crushed tomatoes)
1 small onion, chopped
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp cold water
1 small bag Yukon gold baby potatoes
In a 3 qt. slow cooker, combine the first 10 ingredients. Add the ribs, tomato and onion.
Cover and cook on low for 4.5 hours or until meat is tender.
Cook baby Yukon potatoes in boiling water for approximately 5-10 mins. Drain.
Cut in halves and quarters and add to slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch
and cold water until smooth; gradually. Stir into cooking juices. Cover and cook for 10-15
minutes or until thickened.
Serve in big bowls with some crusty French bread and a side salad. Add a glass of bold red
and you’ve got a heartwarming dish to get you through any cold winter night.