Saturday, 11 May 2013

Shakshuka

I've been from one extreme to the other recently, a week of chickpeas, lentils and hunger followed by a few days in Lyon where I ate and drank far too much... Which ended in being terribly ill on the way home, I think I picked up some bug from somewhere, or it was my body just telling me to calm down with the 3 course meals and the wine... I fainted in the end! But have recovered to tell the tale... Lyon was beautiful, a lovely picturesque city. We ate in some amazing Bouchons and drank in some lovely cocktail bars. It is a city of offal and wine, my kind of city... We enjoyed black pudding, chicken liver cakes, cheese and praline tarts all day long. It was sunny and generally delightful. I hear summer happened here while we were away, but it's back to a grey cold day out there today.


This is one of my new weekend favourite breakfast brunches, especially on a cold damp morning like this. A bit of heat and spice with your morning eggs, courtesy of Ottolenghi, who's book Jerusalem is still one of my current favourites. It is a Tunisian dish of baked eggs nestled in tomatoes, soft peppers, and garlicky harissa spice. Comfort and spice...

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan, I just have one large one which I scooped the eggs out of to serve, if you have smaller ones it's nice to be able to serve individual portions in the pan.



Add 2 tablespoons of harissa, I used an amazing rose harissa I discovered recently, 2 teaspoons of tomato purée, 2 diced red peppers, 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped, 1 teaspoon of ground cumin and ¾ teaspoon of salt, then cook for about 10 minutes. Add a tin of chopped tomatoes then simmer for another 10 minutes until the peppers are soft and you have a thick sauce.



Then make little dips in the sauce to add your eggs, I used 4 eggs, you can add up to 8 depending on how many you are feeding and how many eggs you like. Swirl the whites of the eggs into the sauce a little bit and simmer for about 8 minutes or until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny.

Serve with a big dollop of yoghurt and some fresh bread. The runny egg yolks in the spicy tomato sauce are delicious, with fresh tangy yoghurt and soft sweet red peppers. A perfect start to a cold Spring day.


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