I used the harissa with some really fresh mackerel fillets, orange and fennel so that I could finally finish off that bloody cous cous that's been lingering in my cupboard for months. A splash of rose water brought it all to life; though quite a summery dish, the fiery spice made it nice and warming. The orange juice and pomegranate seeds cut through the richness of the mackerel flesh beautifully.
Makes a small jar
100gr dried chillis, soaked in boiling water for an hour
1 small onion
8 cloves of garlic
2 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp salt
100ml vegetable oil
Toast the cumin and caraway seeds till fragrant and grind to a powder. In a blender add the garlic, onion, chillis (deseeded and rehydrated) and the salt and blend well, adding the oil as you go. Transfer to a small pan and simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring often. Spoon into a sterilised jar and leave to cool.
Mackerel with Harissa, Orange & Fennel
2 large mackerel fillets
2 tbsp harissa
1 tbsp rose water
1 orange, zested and juiced
1 bulb of fennel, sliced
1 small pomegranate, seeds picked
Cous cous, flecked with coriander and parsley, to serve
Heat up a tablespoon of oil and fry the fennel until softened. Salt the mackerel skin and in a non-stick pan fry the mackerel fillets skin side down until crispy. As they're frying, smear the flesh with the harissa paste. Transfer the mackerel fillets flesh side down on top of the fennel. Squeeze the orange juice into the fennel pan with the zest of the orange, add the rose water and cook until the mackerel is done. Transfer the fish out and if it's quite wet simmer until thick, or just spoon the fennel and the orange onto the cous cous. Scatter with the pomegranate seeds.