giaguara's corner

Kitchen Experiments: Texas Harissa (with green roasted jalapeños)

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Back to kitchen experiments: I still love Moroccan food. For some reason decent harissa is hard to find, so I was in the mood to try my own. All the recipes I found use dried red peppers – the local groceries didn’t have those, and I wasn’t patient enough to wait for the next CentralMarket shopping trip to get some. And as harissa is usually made without the seeds, using the big container of crushed red pepper was out of question. Two options then: use some home grown and dried Thai peppers, or experiment with the fresh ones. Today I chose the fresh ones. The grocery had just jalapeños and one other variety, so harissa experiment #1 is with fresh jalapeños.

Fresh jalapeños
Garlic (fresh)
Olive oil
Spices: I chose ras el-hanout, sumac, and a bit of cilantro

Something to grill or roast with
Blender (or coffee grinder)
Knives etc

First put gloves on – the peppers will hurt otherwise. I cut the jalapeños in smaller sizes, removing the white parts, stems, and seeds, and peeled two big garlic cloves the same way. For roasting I used our George Foreman grill, but oven or any roasting device will do. They don’t have to get extremely cooked, just softer and nice smelling.

After roasting, cool them down. Then add the jalapeño pieces, garlic, and olive oil to the blender, and blend. Test the taste, and add any spices you prefer, and add olive oil as much as needed to get the proper harissa consistency. When you are happy with the flavor and consistency, can the harissa and enjoy. Add 1/4 inch of olive oil on the top before you put the lid on.

On the smaller jar I have a variation with some bhut jolokia. I had some dried jolokia in my cupboard, so I soaked two peppers for an hour, discarded the soaking liquid, and tried to deseed the pieces (with gloves on!), and added the jolokia parts to a small portion of the green harissa, and continued blending. I was expecting the flavor to be – well, extremely hot, but it seems soaking and deseeding took care for most of that, so it’s not as hot as I expected.

End result is not the typical harissa. I was prepared for a jalapeño flavor, and it has that. It has heat as I hoped. It seems to me when using fresh peppers it’s much harder to get the proper thick consistency. (Perhaps with scotch bonnets it would work better) Meaning simply that today’s batch will soon be used on anything one would use harissa on, and I’ll grab the dried peppers I need from CentralMarket. Overall the flavor is right, but the consistency is not as I was looking for because I used fresh peppers.


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I used to use LinkedIn actively. It was useful; I even got a job I really liked by using it.

But I’ve been lacking it for a white. As I wasn’t doing “much”, I didn’t really want to update what I do. Like with resume, I prefer the cleanness; less is more. While too many European thinks that as a 27 year old applicant for a job their resume (in the annoyingly academic format of curriculum vitae, no less, filled with junk that should not matter one bit when applying for the job they are applying for) has to be at least six pages, I’m shrinking from 1,5 to 1. Why do you need six pages (or two) anyway? Steve Jobs’ resume would have fit fine just on just one. Learn to see what’s relevant, and quit wasting time. The purpose of the resume is to get to the job interview, nothing more. That’s where you finish the sale.

What I wanted to update wouldn’t have worked ideally. Neither for what I probably want next (undecided between what I used to do and what I do or what else I would like todo) nor even updating with what I do. When it would require adding a whole department or business within the city… no. If someone else had added it already, yes, then perhaps. But to add or not? It took a while of thinking, and I didn’t add.

My whole resume is not in LinkedIn. Just a few key pieces. The rest is when I actually send it or apply to something. It’s also for a matter of privacy.

I’ve had a few curious observations about LinkedIn somewhat recently:

1. A while back a lot of LinkedIn passwords were stolen. Fine – when it happens on most sites anyway… except when in this case the passwords were kept incompetently. When you are a the major site for jobs, resumes and recruiting, you’d think the databases, user data and everything else was kept in a proper, hashed format. Apparently not. Even though my password was not apparently stolen, I changed it of course, and this was just another thing making me distance myself from the site a bit.

2. The new look. Why do all the sites have to get the “Web 2.0” look bug? No matter if you’re in WordPress, LinkedIn, Twitter, … they all look the same. They all want to be so web 2.0 (or is it 3.0 by now?). Share something. Share the same posts, statuses, and your ah so original instagram photos in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Quora, Google+… you name it. But I see no reason to add even my Goodreads or Quora to LinkedIn. It’s a profile of which the target audience is different. Just like the target audiences of Facebook differ – create groups, share what you want to share with just the people you want to share something with. Why does everything have to be shared with everyone anyway?

3. The recommendations… this is really baffling me. I haven’t logged in to the site for quite a while now. I haven’t asked for recommendations, yet my friends are now recommending, more than one a week. Is this something LinkedIn is asking for them to do on my behalf? I’m kind of tempted to log in around November, and then count how many I’ve got now… Are all my friends just being nice recently, or is LinkedIn asking them to be nice?

Don’t take me wrong – I’m glad my friends remember me. Especially when it’s the friends that I worked with and that are now doing well themselves. It just feels odd.

Feel free to try it yourself. My guess is that you too (as long as you were fun to work with) might notice something similar.

My theory for how to get more LinkedIn recommendations would go as follows:

1. Do your job properly

2. Add decent people from your work in your LI

3. Ignore LinkedIn when you’d want recommendations (like for 3 months). – However I’m curious if this part works better when you don’t have a current job listed