Hello all. I hope you’ve enjoyed a fabulous holiday season with loved ones. I hope 2014 brings you much peace and love. Please know it’s forever an honor to share recipes with you in this little space.
At our end, the last couple of weeks were nippy and grey but filled with good food and people. It’s no surprise to you that John’s mom makes the most amazing holiday dinners and that every year we leave her house well fed, happy and appreciative. This year she went Italian all the way. There was salad, egg drop soup, gnocchi and a superbly feathery espresso chocolate mousse I can’t stop thinking about. Despite spending most of our time inside, we did get out for a few long walks and a couple of days by the beach.
I have made quite a few recipes in the past several months. I have even photographed some but never had a chance to put them on the blog. I have been eating a vegetarian diet for a few months now (I had my first meatless Thanksgiving this year!) and it feels a bit awkward to post all those meat recipes I have documented in the past which don’t really come with a current story nor are representative of my present taste inclinations. But I thought some of you might enjoy them and that was good enough of a reason for me to decide to post them. Besides, I still cook meat for my family and having them on the blog will make it handy for me as well. My next three or four posts will be meat dishes I made months ago before I start posting anything more recent.
For those unfamiliar, merguez is spicy North African sausage. This homely version is uncased and not difficult to make at all.
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 min (plus marinating time)
Cook Time: 10 min
1 pound ground beef or lamb
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 tablespoon harissa
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Place the ground meat with the butter, harissa, garlic, cumin, crushed fennel seeds, salt and pepper in a glass bowl. Knead well to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours to marinate.
Oil your grill and preheat it to very hot. Shape the meat into sausage shapes. Grill the sausages undisturbed, until marked on the bottom, 4 to 6 minutes. Flip the sausages with tongs and grill the other side for 4 to 6 minutes. Serve right away with a salad.