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Evil Kenevil and Shakshuka

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Don’t worry if my title doesn’t make a lot of sense. All will be revealed. spring has finally sprung in Vancity and one’s thoughts turn to bike riding in the sunshine. My bike has been out of commssion for awhile and (get ready to be shocked) I didn’t have a helmet. It’s true, I’ve been risking brain and limb and a ticket by riding with a naked noggin for years. So I decided to fork out the bucks and get a helmet. Nowadays there are a lot of helmet options, unlike the alien-head only ones of my youth. I lucked out at the bike shop (where they fixed my tire and spokes and straightened my bars) and found a sweet Evil Keneivel style helmet in L/XL to fit my oversize bean.

Monty inspects the merchandise

Next up, dinner. I decided to make Shakshuka again. Shakshuka is a delicious Middle Eastern dish from Jerusalem that I made last year and got out of (what else?) Saveur magazine. I had most of the ingresients already becasue they are pretty basic and rode my bike to the store to grab the couple I didn’t have on hand. This dish is really versatile and could be served at any meal, breakfast, lunch or dinner. I chanegd it a bit from the first time I made it and it turned out awesome. It’s very filling and healthy and spicy!

Shakshuka (adapted from Saveur No.124)

1/2 T olive oil

28 oz can crushed tomatoes

2 small oniosn small diced

8 garlic gloves minced

1 habernero pepper* minced

1 1.2 T paprika

2 t cumin

salt and pepper to taste

6 organic eggs

-I specified organic eggs because not only are they superior in quality but the chickens are treated humanely. Unlike free-run or free-range, an organic label means the conditions are enforced and checked by the government and (in BC they can also have an SPCA certification that you can see on the carton). I prefer Rabbit River which are also local to my area) Okay, end of spiel.

Eggcitement!

-saute onions, garlic and habernero in olive oil (if you haven’t handled haberneros before: do not touch any part of your body after handling them and wash your hands)- you may need to put on the fan as the habernero can get into the air and make everyone in the vicinity start coughing

Pretty Pretty Peppers!

*haberneros are one of my favourite ways to add heat to dishes, if you haven’t had them before they are extremely spicy. Check out the Scoville Scale┬áto see how they compare to other peppers. However, what I love about haberneros is not just the heat, they impart a real depth and flavour to dishes without the acidity that peppers like jalapeanos have. If you like spicy food you will want to add habeneros to your cooking repetoire. They are pretty cheap (although they are pricy by the pound they weigh next to nothing) the three I bough today cost around fifty cents and they freeze really well, just stick them in a bag. If you can’t find fresh, dried can be used but be warned…the dried are much much spicier, use sparingly until you know how hot they are.

-add the tomatoes plus about 1/3 can water to the onions

-simmer until slightly reduced, about 20 minutes (cover if you don’t want tomato splatter all over your stove)

-stir occasionally and add some salt and pepper

-crack the 6 eggs evely spaced apart into the simmering tomato sauce and cover

-let cook 5 minutes

-baste eggs with a little of the tomato sauce and cook 1 more minute (if you like runnier eggs reduce the cooking time)

-ladle into three bowls (2 eggs each) and serve with pita for dipping

Shakshuka!

Enjoy the yum! The original recipe also garnishes with parley and feta which would probalby be awesome as well. I am pretty sure my next project is going to be Chinese steamed buns which I have wanted to make forever. I just realized the bread book I got for Christmas has a recipe for them. I am so excited!!! I’ll be doing a vegetarian take on a BBQ pork filling so stay tuned!

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