Mediterranean Monday: Muhammara
Hey everyone! Another day another recipe. Two years ago I came to Toronto and ate in a well known branch of restaurants called O&B. It was there I was introduced to Muhammara. I had it with a chicken dish. Muhammara is a spicy pepper sauce. Classically it has Aleppo pepper. As I didn't have access to Aleppo, I used Red bell pepper, Cayenne & chili pepper mix, and Smoked Paprika. It's my.first time making this Mediterranean sauce, I liked the way it turned out and can't wait to use it this weekend.
Let's get to cooking!
- 1 Roasted Redbell pepper
- 1 Head Roasted Garlic
- 1 1/4 tsp. Cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp Smoked paprika
- 1/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts
- 1/2 Lemon juice
- 1tbsp. Toasted Ground cumin
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 Slices of a multigrain bread*
Okay so first thing is to cut the head off the garlic and drizzle with oil, wrap it in foil & roast it @ 200°F for two hours. Once that is done get your pepper, drizzle with oil and roast in a pan @ 400°F for one hour twenty minutes ( be sure to turn it every thirty minutes for an even roasting). I have a small toaster oven so I did them both separately. If you can't do that then this may take a while. I did it as soon as I woke up.
It's one of those things that you can just do, set a timer, sip your coffee and not think about it until your house starts to smell like yumminess.
Once everything is done, you can put your peppers in a bowl, wrap in cling film & steam them for five to ten minutes. In the mean time you can peel the roasted garlic. It took me a little longer than usual to peel them because I wanted minimum wastage. Measure your ingredients out and keep them in little containers. (I find measuring ahead of time is better than measuring as you follow the recipe).
Don't forget your peppers! Give them a peel, take out the seeds and just put it straight in the food processor with the garlic and oil. It will be a little thick so add a tablespoon of water. You just need this to get it going. Once it's a puree, add the other ingredients into the processor, the lemon, the peppers, salt, cumin. Taste it, check the seasoning. Always remember to put less if your not sure and check it, then add more.
Like the tapenade it's not a super smooth puree. This sauce is a bit more diverse when it comes to complimenting meat or fish, try it with a lamb, or a pulpo(octopus). Muhammara is best when served warm as a sauce. It can also be used as a spread for a sandwich. So get to cooking and make this yummy Mediterranean sauce.
*The Muhammara usually has breadcrumbs in it, but I don't want to eat too much bread so I left it out.