Moorish Fusion Cuisine by Zouhair Zairi was being talked about a lot on FaceBook, so intrigued, I asked for a review copy. I received a stunning large coffee table size book that is so attractive and so interesting that it would make a great holiday gift.
Yet beyond the visual impact, this book fascinates me for additional reasons. It weaves a rags to riches tale of a young boy from Morroco who arrived in New York with little money
It also appeals to me in that it celebrates the cuisine of the Moors while coloring that rich tapestry with shades of classic French and down-home American cuisine. So each recipe is truly a fusion of styles and techniques.
Some of the recipes I have earmarked to try are his Honey and Ginger Coated Swordfish, Lavender Crusted Tuna, Sweet Tomato Jam, Orange Blossom Vinaigrette, and his Scallops Crudo with Fennel Slaw---all Moorish fusion cuisine, all light and fresh, all calling me to the kitchen.
I especially appreciated the Basics section at the back. So I will share with you his recipe located there for making at home one of my favorite condiments!
Yield: about 1 1/2 cups
12 to 14 dried chilis
4 garlic cloves, mince
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt to taste
1. Split the dried chilis open and remove the seeds. Soak the chilis in warm water for 30 minutes.
2. Squeeze the water from the chilis. Place them in a blender with garlic, cumin and olive oil. Puree until smooth and season with salt.
3. Transfer to a Mason Jar and cover with a layer of olive oil. Harissa can keep for up to 6 months.
Moorish Fusion Cuisine: Conquering the New World by Zouhair Zairi, October 2011.