Wonky73

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Category: onions

Food Friday: Shakshouka

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a Food Friday recipe. To make up for it I give you one of my favorite things to make.


As I have mentioned on other food fridays, this is not a foody blog and I am not a photographer. You are going to see poorly lit shots of the mess that is my kitchen. A lot of the mess  was actually made during the cooking process since the pan was a bit too small. I don’t know why I am defending myself this is my blog 🙂
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Shakshouka is a North African dish of poached eggs in peppers, tomatoes, and onions. The final result provides a lot of flavor, is  good for you, and easy to make. With a basic starting recipe, shakshouka can be versatile in how you spice it and what you can add. People eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Let’s get to it.

Ingredients:

  • Medium sized onion (diced)
  • Large red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1-3 cloves of minced garlic (depends on how much you like garlic)
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes or equivalent(I used whole peeled since it is what I had)
  • 3ish eggs
  • cumin 
  • paprika (not pictured)
  • cayenne pepper 
  • chilli powder
  • salt
  • pepper
  • handful of parsley (actually important)
  • tbsp of olive oil (not pictured)

Preparation:

I recommend preparing this in a large saute pan with a lid.  I used my cast iron skillet since it was clean and at hand. If you look closely at the pictures you can see it was almost not big enough. In fact some spillage occurred because of its size. I ended up using the lid from the saute pan anyway in the final stage. 
Slowly heat the oil over low heat in the pan while you dice up the onion and mince the garlic. Add the onions to the pan and let them soften over low heat for 4 to five minutes.  Then add the garlic and let it all soften for another 5 minutes or so. While this is going on dice up the red pepper.
Now stir in the red pepper and give the whole thing another good five minutes to continue softening everything. I think I actually gave it like 10 minutes.
Now add the diced tomatoes with all the juice from the cans.  I had whole tomatoes so I had to use my wooden spatula to smoosh them into smaller chunks. No you season the dish.  I am not going to give specific amounts. Season to your specifications. I dumped a whole bunch of cumin and paprika in mine. I like it nice and spicy.  Let this mixture simmer for a bout 8 minutes. It should start to reduce a bit before moving onto the next step. 
Now add the eggs. Crack the egg and dumped them carefully right into the juice. We are going to poach these eggs in the spicy saucy goodness. I like to dish some of the sauce over the eggs just to make sure I get as much flavor as possible. Then cover the dish and let it simmer from between 10 – 15 minutes. I went with 15 since I didn’t want the yokes to be runny. If you want a a softer yoke only cook it fifteen minutes.
Now comes the last but important part. Sprinkle over a good bit of parsley. Your think you can skip the parsley. It’s just a useless visual garnish that nobody wants anyway. WRONG!  The parsley adds an important mild bitter flavor to the concoction of tastes we have filled this dish with. Now I have made shakshouka without the parsley and it is still excellent but It tastes noticeably better to me with the parsley added. 

Servings, Storage, and Reheating:

This serves 2 or possibly 3 if you have something else or it is a light meal. I’ve found that the eggs don’t reheat well. So I make sure to eat all the eggs during the first sitting. That usually leaves me with a good half if not more of the vegetable mixture. This can easily be stored in some plastic ware and then reheated in the microwave for a few minutes.  It makes a great side for something the next night. I particularly like pairing with a pork chop.

That was the week June 22nd – June 28th 2015: Sorta

I don’t actually remember when everything happened and it was a boring week so instead of a day by day I am just going to give you some highlights.

*One of the big things I did this week was rearrange my furniture and clean. As part of this I threw away an old ratty couch I had had for years. It was once part of pair of couches that my mom had bought. I had thrown the other one away almost ten years ago.  The only use the couch has gotten the last recently  was as a place for Jobu to sleep and as a scratching post.  I lugged it by myself down the stairs and tossed it out by the dumpster. My apartment complex pays to have large items taken away. Later that night I was still cleaning and went to throw out a bag of trash.  A soft rain was falling. After throwing my stuff away I looked at the couch sitting in the soft summer rain. It looked so small and sad with its faded flower pattern slightly soaked and all the places were Jobu had ripped up the fabric. I patted it on the arm and said I was sorry for throwing it out and thanked it for its years of service. I then realized I was standing in the rain talking to a couch.

*For those of you who aren’t cat people, they tend to not like change. Jobu has this thing I call his perch.

It’s very high and puts him above my eye level. He loves it. It allows him to lord over me and show me who runs barter town. He was up there sorta sleeping as I moved things around.  I had moved the desk that used to sit next to the perch. He jumped from the desk to the perch.  I hadn’t put anything back yet.  He finally woke up more and looked down.  EVERYTHING WAS GONE!!  He got a panicked look on his face as he started looking back and forth. How do I get down?!

You can’t really see in the picture but I have set up a really easy way for him to get up there that involves at the most a foot and half jump. His tiny brain can’t seem to figure this out. He keeps trying to get up the hardest way possible involving the longest jumps. He has even meowed pitifully at me until I pick him up and put him up there.  He stupid.

*I have another netflix recommendation.  I finished the first season and have moved onto the second of Crossing Lines.  It’s a show about a special pan European crime unit that has jurisdiction everywhere. The first season was broadcast by NBC but they never did showed season 2.  The lead for the first two seasons is William Fichtner.  He is one of those “that guy” guys.  When you see him you will be like, “Oh yeah that guy.”

*The Cubs got swept by the Cardinals over the weekend. I hate the Cardinals 🙂

*I was cooking up some brats and wanted a vegetable side to go with them.  All I had was a bag of  onions.  I chopped up the onion and started to grill it in a pan with some oil. I seasoned it with salt, pepper. cayenne pepper, turmeric, and coriander. I grilled the onion for about 10 minutes till it was nice and soft. The flavors mixed almost perfectly. It was delicious with just enough heat and a great orange/yellow color.

Food Friday: Roasted Red Pepper and Gouda Soup

Yeah yeah I know it is sunday.

I first had this soup from a local cafeteria.   I loved it so much I had to try and make it at home.  Made at home with fresh ingredients, I can tell you it is even better.

fresh veggies

Ingredients:

2 tomatoes  can and have used roma tomatoes then you need 6-8 depending on size
1 yellow onion
1 red pepper
1/2 to 1 cup grated  Gouda cheese
salt and pepper
and a little olive oil

grated gouda

Preparation:

Chop the tomatoes and onion into largish same sized chunks.  Deseed and also chop up the red pepper.  Put into a bowl and lightly coat with olive oil.  Place the veggies on a cooking sheet and place it in an oven at 350 for about fifteen minutes.  You want the peppers to actually get a little brown. 

rasted veggies

There are two ways to puree this mixture. You want to do it while the veggies are still hot so the cheese melts.  The first option is to put the veggies in a pot and use a stick blender.  Or if you have a nice thick glass blender like I have you can just dump it in there.  While it’s blending slowly at the cheese.  This will make a mess since the cheese sticks to things.  A delicious gooey cheesy mess.  I admit it is kinda of a pain to clean everything afterwards. Just blend it to your preferred consistency. I like mine to still have chunks of onion and pepper in it.

Like usual I have no pictures of the finished product.  Why?  Well, it is so good that I just stood in the kitchen and started eating it out of the pot.  

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