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December 9, 2012

Harissa (Recipe: vegan squash or pumpkin stew with chickpeas and carrots) {gluten-free}

First published in November 2007, this updated pantry ingredient post features new photos, links, and a few tweaks to the recipe. Spicy harissa gives this stew a smoky kick; use more or less, to your taste. If you have a tagine, a Moroccan cooking or serving pot with a conical top, serve this in traditional North African style.

Vegan squash (or pumpkin) stew with carrots, chickpeas, and harissa for a kick.

Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.

Ilsa didn't go to Rick's Café Americain for the food. In fact, nobody went to Rick's for the food. Drinking, yes. Smoking, of course. Gambling and trading? You betcha. A rousing chorus of La Marseillaise? Absolutely!

But food? Not a bite, and what a shame, because Rick's, the place to see and be seen in the classic film, Casablanca, surely might have had wonderful food, including couscous and tagines with spicy homemade harissa.

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October 25, 2012

Recipe for lamb tagine with garlic, honey and raisins

Lamb tagine with garlic, honey and raisins.

When you think of a tagine, you probably picture tender chunks of meat stewed in liquid, with vegetables or maybe chickpeas, poured over couscous or rice. This lamb tagine with garlic, honey and raisins isn't quite the stew you imagine. I'd call it lamb candy, if that made any sense at all, because the honey and fruit give the meat a sweet, caramelized glaze that is so good, you'll want to lick every bit off your fork. Garlic and lemon keep the dish well balanced, adding just enough savory notes on your taste buds. Though lamb is a traditional favorite, you can make this dish with beef or chicken, too. It's a wow dish for parties, and you'll love the leftovers for lunch the next day.

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October 21, 2012

Recipe for chicken salad with walnuts, celery, and pomegranate-harissa yogurt sauce

Chicken salad with walnuts, celery, and pomegranate-harissa yogurt sauce, from The Perfect Pantry.

In Boston's South End neighborhood, where my husband Ted and I moved more than thirty years ago, almost every corner used to boast a spa (Boston-speak for an all-purpose market), or a Middle Eastern grocery, or a bar. The bars have long since closed -- many replaced by the fine restaurants that now define the South End -- and, sadly, most of the Middle Eastern businesses have gone, too. The spas endure, and almost every one that offers prepared food sells a basic, uninspired, too-much-mayo chicken salad. My new chicken salad recipe with walnuts and celery features a pomegranate-harissa yogurt sauce that reminds me of the wonderful ingredients I used to buy at the local Middle Eastern markets. It's sweet and tangy, and as spicy as you want to make it, perfect in a sandwich or lettuce wrap. If I owned a spa in the neighborhood, I'd make this my signature chicken salad.

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October 11, 2012

Recipe for red pepper, kale and walnut dip (or spread) {vegan, gluten-free}

Red pepper, kale and walnut dip, or use it as a spread.

All year long I've been on a campaign to eat more kale. You can tell by my use of the word campaign that kale is a vegetable I'm learning to love, not one I loved from the start. Like most kids I know, I don't always want to eat my dark leafy greens, so from time to time I have to hide vegetables in my own meals. This mildly spicy red pepper, kale and walnut dip -- which you also could use as a spread on sandwiches or bruschetta -- began as a random ingredient pull from the refrigerator. I had some kale that needed to be used, a bit of leftover roasted red pepper in a jar, and a few walnuts. Harissa brought them all together in a Mediterranean-inspired dip, and nobody will ever figure out that kale is the green in it. Serve this at your next party, with celery sticks, carrots, or tortilla chips.

 

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About The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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