Guest Chef

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - CONTENTS - By Matthew Pioro

Laura Brown’s shak­shuka

“I was a lit­tle bit ner­vous the first time I made it. It kind of looked funny. Is stew? Is it soup? Is it sauce? What is this thing?” said Laura Brown, a rider on the na­tional women’s track en­durance team. She was speak­ing about the shak­shuka recipe she started cook­ing for her team­mates. They share the cook­ing duties at team camps, such as the one held this past Jan­uary in Cal­i­for­nia (where team­mate Steph Ro­orda put the cook­ing of shak­shuka on In­sta­gram). Brown is of­ten asked to make her recipe. It seems she’s the only per­son for the job.

“You re­ally have to cook the onions and pep­pers down,” she said. “One time I had to go for physio treat­ment half­way through cook­ing and my team­mates took over. They rushed the pep­per-and-onions cook down. It was re­ally gross. I’m the only one who’s al­lowed to cook it now.”

She found the recipe on­line but in more than a year of pre­par­ing it, she’s made it her own. “I prob­a­bly tripled the spices,” she said. “I added more gar­lic. The chick­peas weren’t in the orig­i­nal recipe.”

Af­ter the camp in Jan­uary, Brown and Ro­orda went to the Ber­lin six-day race. The event was held in an un­der­ground velo­drome, which, with the strobe lights and DJS, was more night­club than sports fa­cil­ity. “Ber­lin was one of the most amaz­ing things I’ve ever done as a cy­clist,” said the two-time Olympian and Olympic bronze medal­list in the women’s team pur­suit. “I don’t mean to down­play the Olympics. I thought I had done it all, but at this six-day, my mind was blown. The rac­ing is fun and the crowd is en­gaged. You just feel like a rock­star. ” Brown won the scratch race in Ber­lin; Ro­orda was sec­ond. Off the track, Brown is work­ing as a coach, di­rec­tor and men­tor for the Cat. 3/4 women’s squad of Pen­der Rac­ing pre­sented by Bi­ci­cletta. “It’s been re­ward­ing for me just to be able to share,” Brown said. “I’ve been cy­cling for half my life. It’s fun to pass things along.”

Serves 5 In­gre­di­ents

3 tbsp ex­tra vir­gin olive oil 1 large onion, halved and

sliced very thin 1 large red bell pep­per, seeded

and sliced very thin 3 gar­lic cloves, thinly sliced 1 tbsp ground cumin 1 tbsp pa­prika cayenne 28 oz. can whole plum, peeled

toma­toes with juice 1 tsp salt ¼ tsp black pep­per 1 ¼ cup feta cheese, crum­bled 5 eggs (or more if you like) 14 oz. can chick­peas cilantro, roughly chopped hot sauce Di­rec­tions 1. Heat oven to 375 F. 2. In a large oven­proof skil­let, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and bell pep­per. Cook gently un­til onions are caramelized, very soft, and re­duced, about 20–30 min­utes. Do not rush this step. 3. Add gar­lic and cook about 1–2 min­utes or un­til fra­grant. 4. Stir in cumin and pa­prika. Add cayenne to taste. 5. Wash your hands, and then squish the toma­toes between your fin­gers and drop them into the skil­let. Pour in any to­mato juice as well. 6. Sea­son with salt pep­per. 7. Sim­mer un­til toma­toes have thick­ened, about 10 min­utes. Pa­tience is also key here. Do not rush this step or you will end up with soup. 8. Add chick­peas. Gently stir in crum­bled feta un­til just mixed. 9. Crack eggs into skil­let over toma­toes. Sea­son eggs with a pinch of salt and pep­per. 10. Cover skil­let and trans­fer to the oven. Bake un­til eggs are set to your lik­ing. For slightly runny eggs, bake for 7–10 min­utes. 11. Sprin­kle with cilantro and serve with hot sauce. Warm naan bread goes well with this dish.

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