Ras El Hanout and a Spoon of Harissa


 I once thought I had superhuman strength because I could chop an onion without crying. An evolutionary advancement, perhaps? Soon I would be flying without wings or, at the very least, hold a world record for dry eyes in the presence of onions. I later found out it was because I was wearing contacts. I guess it’s the same thing.



Aside from chopping onions, there are few things I enjoy more than a hearty bowl of stew filled with umami. Nothing warms me more on a blistery winter day (never mind that NorCal hasn’t seen rain since the Storm of the Decade over a month ago). One caveat: it must always, always be topped with a poached egg. That’s why this Moroccan Merguez Ragout is so incredibly perfect. Not only is the dish a beauty to admire, but it also has some of my favorites: add an egg and it’s breakfast; add chorizo and it’s lunch; add crusty bread — or naan from Trader Joe’s in my case — plus the chorizo and eggs and you have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. My favorite part about this dish is the copious serving of extra virgin olive oil that warms the pan in the beginning of the recipe. It makes the ragout so savory that I made a special pit stop at home the next day so I could heat up a bowl.



Two notes: I mixed together a quick ras el hanout from Epicurious and grabbed a jar of harissa from my local Cost Plus World Market, just as the recipe prescribes. I added sweet potatoes into the mix, though it wasn’t in the recipe, when my mom saw the ingredient list (or rather, the lack of sweet potatoes in said list) and made a face not unlike these Sad Puppies That Will Ruin Your Day. If there’s one thing you shouldn’t do, it’s get in the way of a woman and her carbs.



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