SHAKSHUKA A BREAKFAST THAT BUZZES WITH POWER
Early last year, I wrote about a green shakshuka that I encountered in Melville, Johannesburg. Since then I have researched and experimented with variations on this theme. Here is my best attempt!
1 Prep the preliminary char by peeling and thickly slicing the onion; crushing, peeling and finely chopping the garlic; and topping, tailing and deseeding the sweet peppers, then cutting them into 5mm slices. Place the onions and peppers in a bowl. Select a cast-iron skillet or a heavy-based frying pan and bring this up to high heat. When hot, add the vegetables. Keep them moving for two minutes or so while they steam and char.
2 Drop the heat marginally, add the olive oil, and stir-fry for another 60 seconds as they caramelise. Then add the garlic and turn off the heat. Transfer the charred onion and sweet pepper sections to a bowl and stir in the red wine vinegar.
3 Now for the final process. Chop the chilli, depip and coarsely chop the olives, slice the chorizo, and finely chop the coriander/ basil mix. Pour the canned tomatoes into a bowl and, using your hands, reduce them to a dense pulp.
4 Wipe the cooled frying pan or skillet with a paper towel, then bring it up to medium heat. Pour in a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil, then swiftly stir-fry the chopped chilli. Add the charred onion and sweet peppers and stir well. Pour in the pulped canned tomatoes. Add the cumin, drop the heat to a simmer and let the mixture cook for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time. To make a shakshuka for four diners, you will need:
FOR THE PRELIMINARY CHARRING:
1 medium onion
3 cloves of garlic
2 big, red sweet peppers 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
FOR THE FINAL PROCESS:
2 cans of whole tomatoes 1 big, red chilli
2 teaspoons of freshly ground cumin
1 cup of mixed fresh coriander (25%) and basil (75%) 50mm chorizo sausage, cut into thin slices
8 depipped black olives
1 or 2 rounds of feta Freshly ground, coarse black pepper
Salt 5 Add half the chopped coriander/ basil mixture plus a little black pepper and stir. Add the chorizo slices, then drop the temperature to low. Create four spoonshaped impressions in the mixture, then break an egg into each of these. Spill a little of the hot vegetable juices over the eggs. Let cook until the whites are firm and the yolks runny. Garnish with the second half of the coriander/ basil mix. Add the olives and crumble the feta over the whole thing. Serve on toast or with fresh rolls.
• David Basckin is a freelance journalist and videographer. Email him at farmer[email protected]ton.co.za. Subject line: Real cooking.