I recently had lunch at Lola, James Beard award-winning chef Tom Douglas’s Mediterranean –inspired restaurant. My simple marinated beef sirloin kababs were paired with a smoked paprika sauce that blew my mind. I replicated the kababs quite easily, and with a little fine-tuning, was able to make a convincing version of what he calls a ‘chermoula,’ though I think of them as being slightly chunky. It pretty much goes with anything.
Yield is about a cup. It’s potent enough to use in small doses
1/2 preserved lemon, meat removed (use just the rind and the pith)
1 bunch parsley, including stems (see below, this is optional)
2T smoked paprika
4 cloves garlic
dash of cayenne
pinch of saffron
pinch of coriander
salt to taste
Blend everything except the oil in a mini-prep. Add olive oil in a stream until you have a good consistency, like a chunky sauce. Run sauce through a sieve to remove the parsley. Adjust seasonings, and serve. It keeps at least a week.
Note: The parsley could probably be omitted. I included it because chermoulas typically contain it. It didn’t grind up fine enough, and the sauce had a woody texture. I sieved it and it came out perfect. I think it would be safe to omit that step, but I haven’t tried making it without yet.
EDITED TO ADD–tried without the parsley, and it was not as good. The step could be omitted in a pinch, but I wouldn’t.