Shakshuka

I f*cking love breakfast on weekends.  Instead of a 2-minute microwaved oatmeal gulped down in front of a computer whilst you check your emails, you take your morning easy – you can enjoy that first meal of the day for over an hour, with proper coffee, maybe some background music, and eggs – I love eggs.  I tried microwaved eggs at work and I loathed it.  Eggs need to be lovingly prepared.  We’ve all had bad scrambled eggs for instance, it’s the easiest thing to f*ck up if you’re not doing it with love.  Anyway.  I do it when I can, on weekends I absolutely love going out for breakfast, even if it’s on my own with a book.  But September was a terrifying month financially, so instead of going to a cute cafe, we ate in.

img_9821-copy A shakshuka out would’ve cost 10 pounds a head.  And I promised myself I’d be more careful this month with $$$$$.  The thing is, as much as I love cooking, I also love eating out.  It’s my favorite thing as I just love exploring and learning – yes for me it’s an educational experience.  But London’s expensive.  And I’m young and not in the banking industry.  So I need to make more of an effort to do simple brunch dishes at home on weekends, because let’s be honest, it’s one of the easiest meals to cook.  Pancakes, scrambled eggs, fried eggs, and even this shakshuka – really simple to make.
img_9807

Note: I realize that bottom egg is overcooked and the photo is reminding me how bothered I was.  My pan’s heat spot.  Also, the recipe I have here calls for four eggs for two people but my pan was a bit small..I thought it wouldn’t fit another egg, but if it’s for two you do need to do two eggs per person.

You can go wild with this in terms of adding other vegetables, add some cheese like feta, add fresh herbs, add some more spices.  Customize it how you will, but it is compulsory to serve with good bread and cooling labneh.

Recipe adapted from Ottolenghi
Serves 2
Ingredients
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp tomato paste
1/2 tbsp harissa paste
1 large red pepper, cut into thin strips
1 sprig of thyme
1 400g canned tomatoes
4 eggs
Labneh & bread to serve

Method
Heat a dry pan up over medium high heat and add the cumin seeds to toast for a few minutes until fragrant.

Add a tbsp of olive oil, then the garlic cloves, the tomato paste and harissa paste. Cook for a few minutes, then add the red pepper and thyme and again cook for a few minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes plus a bit of water, bring to a simmer then turn the heat down to low and cook for about 15 minutes until you have a thick sauce.  Season and taste.

Make four little dips and crack in an egg in each of them, cover and cook for a further ten minutes until the egg whites are no longer transparent.  Season the top of the eggs a bit with some salt and pepper and serve.

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