26 August 2013
We woke last Saturday morning at the usual time ready to embrace what has become our familiar routine. Nick and I drop Hayley off at the school musical rehearsals then head to the park with Charlie. It’s become a routine I enjoy as we have coffee and delight in Charlie running around the huge park meeting other dogs and trying to climb trees.
Jumping in puddles and rolling in mud last Saturday saw him at the dogwash pretty soon after we got home. On finishing up there, the owner, a lovely Italian man offered us a plastic bag of his homegrown tomatoes, he also threw in a bunch of parsley and a lethal red hot chilli. He mentioned he had eggs for sale from the chickens on his farm, we were very happy to buy a dozen, they were so fresh they still had traces of dirt on them! The colour of the yolks are so rich and deep. I love cracking them open to watch the yellow golden yolk fall into the bowl and sit high with the egg white, it gives me peace of mind to know I’m using the freshest eggs I can get, only days old.
I had one thing in mind when deciding what to make with the eggs and tomatoes. Shakshuka.
Shakshuka is a dish where eggs are poached in a spicy tomato sauce. It’s a staple of Tunisian, Libyan, Algerian, and Moroccan cuisines traditionally served up in a cast iron pan with bread to mop up the sauce. It’s also popular in Israel, where it was introduced by Tunisian jews.
Because of the eggs I think of it as a breakfast dish but it’s also popular in Israel as an evening meal. On researching this dish on the internet I’ve read comments from people noting they scramble the eggs into the sauce, others have said they add vegetables to the tomato mix like grated carrot and zucchini. One suggestion that appealed to me was spooning the Shakshuka over salted roasted potatoes. Yum!
Olive oil, 1 onion peeled and diced, 1 red capsicum, 1 clove garlic thinly sliced, 1 tsp ground cumin,
1 tsp sweet paprika, pinch cayenne or to taste, 1 diced tomato, 1 can tinned tomatoes, salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
Heat the olive oil in a cast iron pan or frying pan that can go in the oven over medium low heat. Add the onion and capsicum. Cook gently until very soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until tender. Stir in cumin, paprika and cayenne, cook 1 minute. Add fresh and tinned tomato and season with salt and pepper.
Make three indentations in the tomato sauce and crack an egg into each. Season with salt and pepper and place in the oven to cook for 7 to 10 minutes until the eggs are just set. Serve on top of toast or with fresh bread to mop up the sauce.
Recipe: adapted from the NY Times