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House Made Chorizo

Do you ever make cultural dishes? I spend a lot of time smelling the fragrant spices from cultural markets. I grew up with some spices, but as I have gotten older I have been intrigued by other cultures and their food.

I guess living in this information age and this technology forward age, traveling is done through the means of my cooking channels and my internet streaming sites. I am super fascinated with every channel on my Netflix and my Roku. 

I always have enjoyed the flavor of Harissa. I just don't like having so many options at the grocery store to choose from. So I decided to make my own. I asked a friend of mine what was the base of his paste and he said the spices and the chiles. I know what spices I love to use, and I always use chiles at my house to make dishes. So off I went to develop a recipe. I think I found a winner.

I have used this paste over and over to cure my own Chorizo (which is one of my favorite breakfast items).

Once you get this technique down, I promise you won't ever run to the store for prepared stuff yourself. (well, let's hope not!)

Harissa Paste


8 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded (about 2 oz.)
8 dried new mexico chiles, stemmed and seeded (about 1 1/2 oz.)
½ tsp. caraway seeds
¼ tsp. coriander seeds
¼ tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. dried mint leaves
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
1 ½ tsp. kosher salt
5 cloves garlic
Juice of 1 lemon


1. Put chiles into a medium bowl, cover with boiling water, and let sit until softened, about 20 minutes. Heat caraway, coriander, and cumin in an 8" skillet over medium heat. Toast spices, swirling skillet constantly, until very fragrant, about 4 minutes. Transfer spices to a grinder with the mint and grind to a fine powder. Set aside.

2. Drain chiles and transfer to the bowl of a food processor with the ground spices, olive oil, salt, garlic, and lemon juice. Purée, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until the paste is very smooth, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a sterilized 1-pint glass jar and fill with oil until ingredients are submerged by ½". Refrigerate, topping off with more oil after each use. Harissa paste will keep for up to 3 weeks.


1 lb Ground Turkey


1. Add paste to Ground Turkey and put into sealed zip top bag. Refrigerate for 3 weeks, massaging ground turkey around bag 1x /week. On the 3rd week, add your favorite herbs (I used 1 bunch of Thyme) and massage again for 2 days.

2. Saute onto pan over med heat to cook. 

To enjoy; Heat a skillet on med high heat and cook thru. Feel free to add to a pizza or flatbread  with white sauce and arugula. Make them into burger patties, or use them to stuff peppers or any other dish that you are likely to use a ground meat in. 

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I will be back next week, with another blog post and another recipe. 

Until then, take care!




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