Shakshuka- baked eggs, tomato and goodness

This dish has been floating in my thoughts since Feb 2014 when Chloe and I visited Irving Street Kitchen in Portland and I ate their, quote “Moroccan Slow Poached Eggs and Grilled Garlic Rubbed Toast”.It was spicy, simple yet had depth and very good.

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The house smoked Tasso side of bacon also rang my bell. I basically searched online tomatoes and baked eggs and Shakshuka popped up. But really it’s not a name that’s going to stick in my overcrowded mind. I also reached for the wonderful Jerusalem Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. They have a fantastic website as well.

I drew, as always, from a combination of recipes- Jerusalem, David Liebowitz’s Shakshuka and a simple version in the NYTimes.

Here’s my version – Print Recipe {shakshuka recipe}

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I liked using a couple whole spices along with the powdered- here were the fun ones. Note how similar the seeds are with the caraway being just a tad darker than the cumin.

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You could substitute ground spice for either of these but using the seeds gave me a chance to use this- after a good dusting off.

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My version used 2 red peppers, 1 green pepper, 1 onion and 3 cloves of garlic sauteed in about 3T olive oil (see blurry photo) then I added spices and cooked another few minutes to release their fragrances. Then where I strayed from the majority is I added 3 cans of diced tomatoes vs 2. I personally wanted it a little juicier and to be totally honest that stemmed from overdoing the cayenne.

Shakshuka @wendyellenthomas.com

Fast forward: added spices, 3 cans of tomatoes, cider vinegar and honey… then you can add about 4oz of feta here before topping with eggs OR throw it on after the eggs.

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I’ve been making a cheese with no name- I call it a farmstead cheese and I can grate it. It’s very feta like in taste. 100% raw Jersey cow milk with a mesophilic culture (but we’ll save that for another time)

Shakshuka @wendyellenthomas.com-4This was a delicious brunch and with virtually making it the night before it was a cinch to pull together. I added sides of Hempler’s applewood smoked bacon and breakfast potatoes. And crusty sourdough of course.

Shakshuka @wendyellenthomas.com-5My eggs cooked about 90 seconds longer than needed here I think. But I made another round the following day as well adding raw chopped spinach to the bowl and topping with the tomato and eggs

Shakshuka @wendyellenthomas.com-7And I watched these eggs like a hawk… and didn’t have any sides to distract me! Shakshuka @wendyellenthomas.com-9I was very pleased with this dish and it will stay in the forefront for summer when peppers aren’t so expensive! You can tell me I should have posted in summer but well I couldn’t wait any longer.

And don’t forget your crunchy bread. Here’s my rustic sourdough.

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And some life photos…Here’s a killer rainbow that graced us last week

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Stuffed French Toast… NYC & Hamburg

Stuffed French Toast… NYC & Hamburg

My last day in NYC started with brunch at Serenity T in Soho with my son and niece. The place gave mixed messages with it’s atmosphere and servers. An interesting menu, way laid back servers and  a little chaotic looking in the dining room. But the food was great. My niece, remember who juiced me a montage of vitamins, had the spa brunch choice and tea. They offered a cool tea service… hence the name Serenity T … Made me want to return my coffee in a glass mug. Pretty but cools too fast.

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Veggie quiche and a collage

There are many versions of baked eggs. One of my favorite cookbooks containing all egg based recipes is Michel Roux ‘Eggs’

As much as I love a light quiche, this is a denser, eggy version of quiche if you don’t want to use as much cream (or you don’t have any on hand). I started with my pie crust in the morning.  See below for crust recipe.

This is a tried and true savory crust recipe from cooking school and in the crust bible:

  • 250g flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 125g butter
  • 50ml (call it a gram) cold water
  • 1 yolk
  • Flour, salt, butter pulsed in cuisinart.  Place in bowl or on counter.
  • Add water and yolk. Lightly knead to bring ingredients together and form into a disc. Wrap in plastic and let it rest in the fridge for at least 30min.
  • Roll out, place in pie dish, cover with parchment paper, fill with pie weights or garbanzo beans like I do.(If your fridge is bigger than my Euro under the counter you can put rolled out crust back in fridge for another 30 min or longer.
  • Bake at 400° for 12 min
  • Remove weights and paper, bake another 5-8 min.

The filling is on the collage. Except I forgot green pepper, zucchini, salt to taste and maybe a grate or 2 from a fresh nutmeg…. and since what I wanted to say is it took me as long to figure out how to do the collage as it did to make this quiche (including the crust making and resting, pre-baking, cooking the filling and cooking the quiche itself), I just thought I’d add it on here. Did I mention the app was free?

  • Sauté your veggies, cool slighty, put in pre-baked pie crust.
  • Mix eggs and whole milk and gently pour over sauteed veggies
  • Place slices of chevre on top
  • Bake at 400° for 30min.

And you can be completely creative with this….. Quiches are the perfect place to use your last scraps of things including veggies, meats, cheeses.

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