Appetizer Week: Harissa Yogurt Dip (with Roasted Potato Wedges)

Final day to get your entry in on the Joss & Main’s Storage Tower Giveaway!

In the past four days, we’ve gone through a pretty decent variety of simple starter ideas ranging from Ya Li Pear Salsa, Raw Cremini Salad Crostini and Pesto Pasta Salad to Fried Calamari with Curry Leaves.  Each very different from the other yet none actually difficult to make at all.

For the last recipe of the Appetizer Week, I wanted to keep this even simpler and spicier. This recipe is nothing but a simple sauce. Like Pesto, this Harissa Yogurt Dip is great as a dip, dressing, topping, filling… Similar but soooo different too! Pesto is herby & oily whereas this dip is thick, creamy & spicy. Best thing is you can customize how spicy you want it to be.

Step 1 is to make a pan of roasted potato wedges. Here’s how!
Harissa Yogurt Sauce 1

When your wedges are just ready to consume, you can start working on your dip game plan.
Harissa Yogurt Sauce 2

I used Greek yogurt so with all that creaminess, we need to cut that with a squeeze of lemon.
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A sprinkling of pepper dust.
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Test it out with a little harissa paste… This North African chili paste already contains garlic, coriander, caraway, cumin & salt so it’s well spiced already.
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Serve anything fried with this sauce and it’s bound to be gorgeous.
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This is for those non-mayo people.
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Take a bite. I know you want to ;-)
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 This is so easy, it barely needs any recipe. Heh. I’m just giving you a suggestion and would love to see how you make this your own!

Let me know what kinds of quick sauces/dips you whip up when time is not on your side.

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“Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?” {Luke 12:24}

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Appetizer Week: Harissa Yogurt Sauce (with Roasted Potato Wedges)
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sauce
Serves: 1 cup
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • Pinch of freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Harissa Paste (more or less depending on preference)
  • Salt, if needed
Steps
  1. Mix everything in a bowl & taste to adjust.
  2. Store in fridge until needed.

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Appetizer Week: Fried Calamari with Curry Leaves

 2 days left to Joss & Main’s beautiful Storage Tower giveaway. Don’t miss out!

So far for this week, we’ve had some healthy selections for starters: Ya Li Pear SalsaRaw Cremini Salad Crostini & Pesto Pasta Salad.  Nice and raw and fresh.

We’ll take this to a different direction today with a warm starter. Starters should be fun to eat with your fingers, I like to think. Get the gathering started on a fun note, amiright? Hence, squiggly fried calamari but made even better with the fragrance from curry leaves!

My very first posts on this blog was on how to clean squid. The pictures were worse than what I have now (if you can imagine!), way too big in size & takes a bit too long to load. I’m still gonna link to it, if you were wondering. :-) One day I’ll update the pictures & blog post. One day.
Fried Calamari with Curry Leaves1

When you’ve cleaned your squids & cut them into reasonable bite size, get the flour coating ingredients ready. Just remember when cutting the squid that they will most definitely shrink some during the frying process so account for that.
Fried Calamari with Curry Leaves2

Nicely washed & drained.
Fried Calamari with Curry Leaves3

Be sure to season the flour mixture very well. Salty fried squid = bliss!
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I usually just use a sauce pan for frying. I rarely bother with frying at all because I’m just not into it at all. I’m glad I made this exception :-)
Fried Calamari with Curry Leaves6

Get on a thin coating of that flour. I fried my curry leaves in the oil to lend it its fragrance before adding in the squid batch by batch. Sorry, no pictures because me + hot oil + phone = disaster. Aren’t you glad I’m here to teach your recipe math? ;-)
Fried Calamari with Curry Leaves7

Serve with plenty of leon juice, Tabasco sauce & grainy mustard-mayo sauce!
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Fried curry leaves are really papery thin & crunchy. I read that they are good for keeping hair pigments from turning white. So load up on them if you have the chance.
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You can definitely dig in with your fingers amongst a group of friends.
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Hubs & I wiped that bowl totally clean.
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Perfect appetizer for a party of 2.
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What sorts of warm appetizers do you like or always prepare?

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“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” {James 1:17}

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Appetizer Week: Fried Calamari with Curry Leaves
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 lbs Squid with Tentacles, cleaned & cut into ⅓- to ½-inch-thick rings
  • 2 cup Flour
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground Black pepper
  • 2 sprigs Curry Leaves, stripped from stems
  • 3 cups Vegetable Oil
  • 1 lemons, cut into wedges
  • 3 tbsp Mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Whole Grain Mustard
Steps
  1. Pour oil into a deep sauce pan & heat on MED HIGH.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together flour, salt & pepper in a bowl.
  3. Use a curry leaf to test if oil is hot enough by dropping it into the oil. If it sizzles immediately without blackening the leaf, it's just about right. Toss in all the curry leaves & let them sizzle for about 20-30 seconds. Use a strainer & remove leaves to a bowl. Set aside.
  4. Drop a handful of squid pieces into flour mixture & shake until pieces are thinly coated with flour. Shake off excess before carefully dropping into hot oil. Do this in batches.
  5. Fry squid only 1 minute per batch lest they overcook & become rubbery. Strain out & place on paper towel-lined plate as you cook the following batches.
  6. Once squid is done, stir together mustard & mayonnaise in a small saucer.
  7. Arrange fried squid/calamari in a nice serving bowl with fried curry leaves & place lemon wedges around.
  8. Serve with mustard-mayo sauce and some Tabasco.
  9. Consume as soon as possible!

 Recipe adapted from: Giada De Laurentiis

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