SHAKSHUKA with bresaola bacon and crispy aubergine


I first discovered this recipe around 15 years ago in a supplement for a food magazine. SHAKSHUKA or as it is often spelled shakshouka is an Isreali breakfast dish, where eggs are poached in a spiced tomato sauce served with bread.

As soon I read through the recipe I thought it could triumph over the British breakfast, in both flavours and diet, so I began cooking this rather frequently. Then I stopped, not sure why but this morning I had a vision and realized it was to once again produce this breakfast – brunch delight and so here is my adjusted version.

Now I think if you have say some lamb merguez in your fridge ( I mean most won’t), or some beef salami it would be a great addition to the dish or turkey kabanos. I bought my favourite Bresaola, cured beef and have found a quick hit under the grill crispens its up. Voila, you have bresaola bacon, it’s not porky or fatty – perfect for the hypercritical jew … me. You can cook the aubergine with the peppers and onions, etc., but I like them crispy. Scattered on top they really do add some crunchy textural contrast to the dish.

I would always highly recommend buying organic, free range eggs. You can really taste the difference. My personal favourites from the UK are Burford Browns from Clarence Court. http://www.clarencecourt.co.uk/our-range/burford-browns/

INGREDIENTS

For the Aubergine

  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 medium aubergine
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp ras el habout
  • 1 tbsp Smoked paprika
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

For the shakshuka

  • Olive oil
  • 1 red onion, peeled, thinly chopped,
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
  • 1 red pepper, cored and thinly chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp ras el hanout
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tins of good quality chopped tomatoes
  • 8 sun-blushed tomatoes, chopped
  • 8 green olives, thinly sliced
  • 100g chopped spicy jack cheese
  • 8 slices of Bresaola
  • 6 eggs
  • Large bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped

METHOD

  • Pre heat your oven to 350oF / 180oC / Gas mark 4
  • Place your aubergine on a baking tray, and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix thoroughly and place in the oven to crispen up for 20 – 30 minutes. Check half way through. Taste to check seasoning and if need be add more salt and spices.  About 5 minutes before the end of the aubergine cooking time, just place the bresaola on top of the aubergine and crispen up. Set aside for when ready to plate up.
  • For the shakshuka place a large skillet – frying pan over a medium heat. Add the olive oil.
  • Now add the onion, garlic, peppers and saute off for 5-10 until softened. Don’t let them brown, or take on any colour.
  • Next add your spices, the Ras el Hanout, chili powder and paprika. With a wooden spoon, mix well until the vegetables are covered and you can start to smell the spices releasing their flavour.
  • Create a hole in the centre and add the tomato puree. Mix through the veg and cook out the acidity for around 3-5 minutes.
  • Add the brown sugar, followed by the two cans of chopped tomatoes and lower the heat to a simmer.
  • Add the olives, sun-blushed tomatoes, small handful of parsley and check for seasoning.
  • Let the sauce thicken for around 15 minutes, so that any excess water evaporates. Stir occasionally.
  • Now create some wells in the sauce and crack your eggs into the well.
  • Dot the cheese round the eggs and sprinkle with the remaining parsley.
  • Now remove your crispy aubergine from the oven.
  • Preheat the grill and place the saucepan under the grill for around 5- 10 minutes. Until the eggs have cooked through to your liking.
  • Remove from the heat and serve immediately alongside the bresaola, some warm bread and crispy aubergine.

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