I respect and admire other people’s techniques, very modern even, but for me, I am old fashioned. I like feeling the earth. I want to smell the smoke. We’re going to do harissa. One of the most important condiment in Israeli cooking. We are going to do it for chicken, because it’s the best tenderizer, and it gives an amazing flavor. Harissa, we can use it for anything.
Nice! You can do it with fish. You can do it with calamari, it’s delicious. Steaks, shrimp. You can do it with pork, falafel. It’s very good also to eat with pita bread with. So let’s start. We need three different kinds of dried pepper. Those are the hot, dried chili pepper, sweet dried chili pepper, and shatta we call them. So we take all the seeds out. I’m going to put them in here. Let’s use the scissors, because it’s much easier to do with scissors. So, we’re taking all the seeds out because they are so strong, and we don’t want them. Okay. We’re doing the same for the sweet, big pepper. You can do harissa with poblano. It’s going to give you, wow, a different flavor. A delicious one, actually. And then you’re going to take also the hottest dried peppers. We’re taking off the stem also. Last one. Okay. Very nice. That’s it. Now, we’ll just take tap water. First you clean them, so all the dust will go out. Okay, we leave this for two hours just to soak before we are going to grind it all together. Okay, let’s peel some garlics.
Around 20 garlic cloves. Remember, don’t buy frozen ones. Buy only fresh. Okay. So now the peppers were soaked for two hours, they are very soft, and now we’re going to grind them in the grinder, in the grinder. Oh, this is a meat grinder. What you do is we’re taking all the peppers, and we are squeezing them in your hands. Squeeze them and put them here. Squeeze them. That’s it. Okay, so let’s start grinding them together with all the garlic. Let’s do it again. We are grinding it for the second time. That’s it. Warm up a skillet. So we need the cumin seeds. I love cumin seeds. We are toasting them a little bit. Just to open the flavor. Be careful not to burn them. So you move the skillet all the time, and you smell, and that’s it. That’s it. Let’s take a pestle and mortar, and we’re going to crush the cumin seeds that we roasted. And now let’s add some olive oil. One cup of olive oil. And a good one. We are adding the cumin seeds. I add salt. And then I take the preserved lemons. I take around two preserved lemons. I squeeze all the seeds out, because they are bitter, and now let’s cut them. Okay, we are going to combine the peppers that we grinded with the preserved lemons. And before I add more of the cumin seeds, I want to taste. And we did a beautiful harissa that we’re going to use for tons of recipes. And it’s one of the most important condiments in Israeli cooking, okay? Wow, this is pure gold. This can stay for a long time. I’m going to put some olive oil to protect it, okay? So I’ll just, and that’s it. We have this wonderful harissa. So let’s take the chicken breasts from the refrigerator. We’re going to marinate in the harissa we just did. And we’re going to soak it for 24 hours, ’til tomorrow. So this chicken breast is skinless, and it’s clean already. I need to put it in. They should be very fresh chicken breasts. And now let’s take all the harissa. To soak the chicken breasts, and we just. And that’s it. Wow, look at my hands. So nice. And then we put some olive oil on top. And we are going to close it. This goes into the refrigerator for 24 hours. Tomorrow you will see that the chicken breast will be very, very juicy and tender because of the harissa, and full of flavor, full of flavor. Okay.
So good to see you.
Take the olive oil and the salt.
And you are going to take chicken breast in harissa.
Okay? I’ll take those plates.
[Adeena] Where are we going?
Downstairs to the grill.
[Adeena] Okay. It’s heaven here, it’s heaven.
Okay, this is the mangal? This is like nothing fancy. This is the standard Israeli grill.
Standard Israeli grill. I’m against fancy grills. Okay, give me the paper please.
[Adeena] You use old paper?
Yeah, old paper, newspaper, old newspaper.
[Adeena] What, it’s like the kindling?
Then, yes exactly. And then we’ll put it here. I’m going to show you the best method to light a grill.
I’ve certainly never seen this before.
I’m putting the coals on top.
Okay. Is this wood coals?
Yeah, this is the, how do you say, oak.
This is what you call in Arabic syndiot. Syndiot. Yeah. There is a lot of oxygen, and they are lighting up very fast.
Okay, did you purposely send this in my direction? Okay, I love it. Wow. When you were a kid, did you guys do mangal?
All the time, what do you mean? This is the best Israeli pastime. During the holidays, during the Shabbat, we put whatever we want, lambchops, chicken breasts, huge steaks.
[Adeena] Okay. Can I do a little bit of a?
Yeah, blow. Okay, this is ready. Just flip it over.
And now, let’s wait. Let’s go and pick something in the garden for the green tomato salsa.
[Adeena] Everywhere I look right now, I’m seeing all around me 360 produce.
The artichokes are already flowering. Let’s pick some green tomato. I love to eat them like this, you know, fresh.
That tomato vine smell is amazing.
Let’s have some tarragon. Cucumbers, look at this.
Oh, little babes, so cute! What’s this? Rocket, wow. This is gorgeous. Marjoram, it’s kind of in the oregano family. It’s lemony and pungent, it’s good.
Now, you cut them into very thin or in small cubes.
[Adeena] Okay. Finely dice?
[Erez] And I’m going go bring some wine, because I’m thirsty.
How am I doing?
Very nice, very nice.
I brought you, us some very fresh wine.
[Erez] Pet-nat, it’s like cider.
I smell it, it smells amaze, ugh.
Even the wine’s a little green. It goes perfectly, cheers. Mm, ah. It takes like here, that’s what’s amazing about it.
Tastes so fresh.
Of course, let’s see what’s happening with–
So you want me to cut some of the cherry tomatoes also? These in quarters, like cubed?
Okay. Can I try one of these?
[Erez] Of course you can.
Here, I’m tasting this little cherry. Mm, so fresh.
Yeah, super fresh. Sour, but like in a good way. You’re drinking and I’m working. This is the way you like it?
Okay, let’s take some rocket. This is like arugula.
This is instead of pepper kind of, right? It’s like a peppery element.
Okay. We take some tarragon leaf.
Ah, that’s the marjoram?
Yes. The grill is ready. Wow, it’s so warm. And now you see what I do. This is very Israeli. This is very Israeli, we cut an onion.
Okay, we dip it into the oil. We take a huge fork, and we are cleaning the grill.
[Adeena] So it’s the mop.
[Erez] It’s a mop.
[Adeena] That’s an onion mop, super cool.
[Erez] Okay, let’s take the beautiful harissa chicken breast, and put it on the grill.
[Adeena] The color is insane.
[Adeena] Beautiful. I’m gonna do a whole lemon?
More than one.
More than one, okay.
[Erez] Oh, wow.
[Adeena] Okay, I’m gonna salt it. What about the little cucumbers we picked?
Add some, add some, add some.
[Adeena] Okay. Does the harissa kind of help form a little bit of a crust?
What it does, it tenderizes the chicken breast.
And it’s a wonderful tenderizer, because there is all this peppers.
[Adeena] Yeah, they have acid and–
And garlic, and olive oil.
[Adeena] Yeah, right, so it keeps it juicy.
Let’s wait, because they need a little time.
So this is like, to me, sort of the quintessential barbecue experience. You’re sitting a little bit, drinking, watching the stuff grill. You’re forced to relax. Very nice grill marks.
[Erez] I’m adding some of the marinade into the chicken.
[Adeena] So when you add the second brushing it kind of adds more color again.
Yes, and also more flavor.
Right. So I think I have this to your specifications.
[Erez] Let’s taste it.
I didn’t put oil yet. Sababa! Mm, slight anise flavor and the sour, crunchy tomatoes.
[Erez] Each bite you get a different flavor.
Yeah, peppery, lemony, salty.
Yeah, peaches will be wonderful here.
Yeah, let’s bring some peaches.
You wanna add?
Just slices, or cubes like the rest?
[Adeena] You tell me if I’m doing it wrong. Wow, beautiful.
[Adeena] It’s gorgeous.
Just add it.
A little sweetness. What I’ve learned from you over the years is that the most important cooking tool is your hands.
Like, mixing, tasting, rubbing, everything.
A little salt. Not a lot, not a lot. That’s it.
[Adeena] Were you into nature, even as a kid?
My father used to have a almond plantation, so we used to be outside in the south of Israel. I know when it’s ready when it touch it and it’s not so soft. Let’s take the small ones.
[Adeena] The color’s insane!
[Erez] Let’s leave it for another few minutes, this one.
We’ll slice this.
Yes, let’s slice it.
Okay. I’m gonna let you do that. Mm, it’s juicy!
[Erez] You are going to taste it, you are going to die.
Okay. Ahh. Yo.
That’s it, with your hands, you are going to taste it now.
Okay. Perfect, I’m speechless. I would say holy harissa.
[Erez] Yeah, holy harissa, I know.
So good! It’s so fresh.
[Adeena] You gonna have a little bite?
Of course I do. Mm.
It’s so yummy. It really is, there’s literally juice coming out of it. Mm, mm mm mm.
Success! It’s the Holy Land, you know?
It is. Here’s to the Holy Land. When you’re here Mattat I have to say it definitely does feel like the Holy Land.