Shakshuka – the perfect brunch

2017-05-07 11.59.41Coming back from an overnight flight and spurning the horrible mess they call breakfast, I longed for a satisfying welcome-home dish to share with our son who was hotfooting it round to our place.  Racking my brains for variations on eggs and bacon, I suddenly remembered eating this for days in a row on my recent trip to Tel Aviv and loving it.

Shakshuka comes in many different varieties, some people don’t like the bitterness of the green pepper, some add aubergines, courgettes, in Tel Aviv they had chick peas.. I added the chorizo to compensate for the bacon element for a traditional Sunday fry up. This is adapted from Felicity CLoak’s ‘the perfect’ series in the Guardian.

I made some quick and easy hummus on the side from tahini in the fridge and chicken peas in the larder, and we dunked crispy bread in the spicy juices. An avocado salsa would be nice as well (just mashed up with some garlic, lemon or lime juice and coriander) – unfortunately the ones my husband bought were not ripe enough!

Soon he was making the Bloody Marys which slipped down a treat…while I finished off the shakshuka.

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Son pronounced it delicious – and amazingly he had never had it before nor even heard of it. One up to me!

Serves 4

4 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
6 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp cumin seeds
½-1 tsp cayenne pepper
800g tinned tomatoes (or ripe tomatoes in season)
½ chorizo sausage, cut into chunks (Optional)
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
4-8 eggs, depending on hunger
Small bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Method

Heat the oil in a large lidded frying pan over a medium heat and add the onion. Cover and cook until golden, then add the peppers. Fry until both are soft, then stir in the garlic and spices and cook for another couple of minutes.

Pour in the tomatoes and roughly mash. Stir in the chorizo, sugar and lemon juice and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Taste and season, adding more cayenne if you prefer it spicier. I found I had to boil off the excess liquid as I was using tinned tomatoes so it all so it all took a little longer to get it into a thick gloop that you need to make the egg spaces…and I had to do this by uncovering the pan for 10 minutes at the end.

Make 4-8 divots in the sauce and break in the eggs. Season them lightly, turn the heat right down as low as possible, cover and cook for about 10 minutes until they’re just set. Sprinkle with coriander and serve.

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