Do you frequently stumble across and make great dishes, and then promise yourself "I'll definitely be making that again"? I do this often, but the reality is that I come across so many great new dishes all the time that I seldom get around to revisiting some of those wonderful discoveries.
Not so with this dish. This was one of the first dishes I made when I got my copy of Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi, and I loved it so much it has become a regular round here. In fact, I've made it so many times that when I pick up the book it automatically falls open at this page, and there are a gazillion red, peppery splatters all over the page. Now that to me is the hallmark of a great recipe.
The other thing I love about this dish is that really it's just an "idea" - you can play around with it to suit yourself. Ottolenghi uses a combination of red and yellow peppers, but I nearly always only use red - I just like the visual richness of all that red contrasting with the single yellow hit of the egg yolk. I also like to add some chorizo sausage and a little preserved lemon. The original recipe contains onions, but I usually leave them out. This is traditionally eaten as a breakfast/brunch dish, and although I often have this for dinner, I nevertheless can't really face the idea of onions in what is breakfast food (just one of my funny little things). That said, I think there is more than enough flavour going on here, especially with the chorizo, to get by without the onions. I also like to swap out cayenne pepper for some harissa and I like to add a dash of pomegranate molasses. Feta cheese is a nice addition if you have it on hand, and I have even been known to add chickpeas on occasion.
The other great thing about this dish is that everything up to the point of adding the eggs can actually be prepared in advance - it can even be frozen at this stage in individual portions if you like, then you can just whip it out of the freezer before you go to bed, ready for breakfast the next morning.
Following is my adaptation of this wonderful dish, which I've prepared for our Optional Monthly Community Recipe at I Heart Cooking Clubs. The original recipe can be found here.
Adapted from recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe
1x medium sized chorizo sausage, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
4-8 red peppers (depending on size), thickly sliced (seeds discarded)
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2x bay leaves
small bunch thyme
generous handful fresh coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped
(plus extra for garnish)
6-8 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
generous pinch of saffron threads
2 tablespoons harissa
1/4 of a preserved lemon
flaky sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
free range eggs (1 or 2 per person)
Heat approximately 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small frypan over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo to the warmed pan and fry until the lightly browned. Remove the chorizo from the pan and set aside. Reserve the oil from the pan.
Now set a large, deepish, frying pan over high heat, and dry roast the cumin seeds for a minute or two until toasty and fragrant. Now add the reserved oil from cooking the chorizo, and another tablespoon or so of olive oil. Add the peppers, pomegranate molasses, brown sugar and herbs, and continue cooking on high (stirring regularly) until the peppers have started to caramelise - 5-10 minutes.
Add the chopped tomatoes, preserved lemon, saffron and harissa. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the peppers and tomatoes are soft, and the mixture has a pasta sauce consistency, adding a bit of water from time to time as necessary - about 15 minutes. Stir in the reserved chorizo sausage (and feta, if using), taste and adjust seasoning. You can prepare up to this stage in advance if you like - you could even freeze it at this stage.
Remove the bay leaves and thyme stalks, and discard. Now to add the eggs. If serving this in the one big pan, family style, use the back of a soup ladle to make some indentations in amongst the peppers, and drop an egg into each indentation. Sprinkle the eggs with salt, cover the pan, and cook over very low heat until the eggs have set to your liking - 10-12 minutes. For individual servings, divide the vegetable mixture among four ovenproof dishes. Again, using the back of a ladle, make an indentation in amongst the peppers and drop an egg into each indentation. Season. Place serving dishes in one large ovenproof dish, pour boiling water into the oven dish to about three-quarters of the height of the individual dishes. Cover the whole thing with tinfoil, and put into an oven preheated to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F), until the eggs are set - about 15 minutes.
Serve immediately sprinkled with freshly chopped coriander, and some warm flatbreads or crusty sourdough to mop up the juices.
If you would like to get to know Yotam Ottolenghi a little better, then do go and visit my friends at I Heart Cooking Clubs and see what they've all cooked up ...
... or check out Plenty and Ottolenghi's other great titles available from Amazon USA, Amazon UK or Fishpond NZ.
I will also be sharing this post at See Ya In the Gumbo hosted by the lovely Michelle at Ms. enPlace.
I have his books, i love his style, i'm going to make these on your recommendation :)ReplyDelete
Hi Paula. Ottolenghi's books are just the best, aren't they?! Thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoy this :-)Delete
oh this looks great and you sound like me with my cooking always wanting to cook something newReplyDelete
Thanks, Rebecca and thanks for stopping by. Yes, there are always so many new and wonderful dishes to cook that it's hard to develop any "regulars", but this is definitely one of them.Delete
Your peppers are so beautiful! What a wonderful colour. I love this dish but it tends to be a solo treat because Paul is weird about runny eggs.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much. I love dishes like this for a solo treat - individual portions stored in the freezer are great for that. I guess also individual portions is great for those who like fully cooked eggs, though that does seem like a bit of a travesty :-)Delete
I can absolutely vouch for the deliciousness of this dish. It was not only the most fabulous breakfast I ever had, it was one of the most delicious meals ever. Definitely worth the hard work of watching Sue make it!ReplyDelete
Awww thanks, Clare - that's high praise, indeed. I really enjoyed making it for you and Cliff - we definitely need to do it again sometime :-)Delete
I love shaksuka but I haven't tried it with pomegranite molasses. It's something I keep planning to get to try but so far haven't got around to it.ReplyDelete
Pomegranate molasses is one of my absolute must haves in the kitchen. It's one of those ingredients that adds just that little "je ne sais quoi" to all sorts of things - kind of tangy and tart and sweet all at the same time.Delete
I saw this photo on Facebook this morning! I just ordered the Jerusalem book, now it looks like I need to order Plenty!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Pam. I think you definitely need Plenty as well!!Delete
I love Plenty. Use it all the time, but have never made this recipe. What fabulous flavors and a gorgeous presentation! Agree completely about pomegranate molasses...so many uses.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Barbara - Plenty is such a great book, isn't it. Pomegranate molasses is such a great ingredient - don't know what I ever did with out it - even my four year old granddaughter is addicted to it!!Delete
Oh my goodness that sounds incredibly. Definitely my kind of dish! Especially when a perfectly cooked egg is sitting on top. Definitely bookmarking this :)ReplyDelete
Happy Valley Chow
Thanks, Eric. That poached egg on top definitely does it, doesn't it :-)Delete
I love this recipe and admit I've made it a couple of times. I am so like you though trying something, liking it and then never making it again. My husband complains all the time and says we should have a do again list!ReplyDelete
Such a good recipe, isn't it, Julie :-) I actually have a do again list, but somehow I just never seem to get around to making anything off the list!Delete
I do find myself thinking "oh, I'll make this again!" And then I don't b/c there is just too much out there. Strangely enough, tonight I made a YO recipe for the second time in about a week. That is rare--I mean completely unheard of for me lately. And it was a vegetarian dish. Another rarity for my family.ReplyDelete
Never thought about it, but I guess onions in breakfast food is odd!
Thanks for linking this beautiful dish!
The rare recipes that I do make again, are nearly all Ottolenghi recipes, so I can imagine you've found one that is worthy of repeating.Delete
I've made shakshuka before but never Ottolenghi's version! It sounds like a winner to me and I'm sure once I try it...I'll be making it a weekly feature.ReplyDelete
Don't know how Ottolenghi's version of shakshuka compares with others, but I'm sure you'll enjoy and remake it often.Delete
I adore shakshuka, Sue, and I appreciate your suggestions of preserved lemon, chickpeas, pomegranate molasses...so many delicious ways to get creative. And you're so right, too often a favorite dish doesn't get made again for a long time because we're so busy making other new meals. I think shakshuka should be a weekly one! Your photos are quite tempting, too.ReplyDelete
Haven't quite made shakshuka a weekly event yet, Hannah, but it's definitely a regular, and I do love the countless variations on a theme that you can do with this.Delete
Your version of Shakshuka looks so delicious! I like it that you've used sausages and preserved lemons. I have not even seen pomegranate molasses over here before. I'm keeping a lookout for this and a few other ingredients each time I'm out shopping for groceries at various places!
Have a great week!
Thanks, Joyce. Actually if you can't find pomegranate molasses, you can very easily make your own by simply reducing down a bottle of pomegranate juice until it becomes a syrup.Delete
I am think I am going to have to make this dish....it's certainly been popular :) And I agree with you adding chorizo & preserved lemon, adore both of those. And splatters definitely the sign of a good recipe :) I reckon cookbooks are made to be splattered!!ReplyDelete
Sue - Your version of shakshuka is definitely inspiring to me. I really love the idea of adding chorizo and harissa.ReplyDelete
Such a great dish. I bet the preserved lemon, harissa and chorizo gave this such incredible flavor! ;-)ReplyDelete