Sunday, January 25, 2015

Baked eggs in hot tomato sauce

This is an easy breakfast dish that tastes great, and looks good too. Thought to be have originated in Turkey and in Tunisia, this dish is called Shakshouka in the Middle East, and it appears in other parts of the world with slight or no variations. Thus it is similar to the Mexican huevos rancheros, the Portuguese and Spanish baked eggs, the Turkish menemen and so forth. Can be made on stove top and can also be baked in the oven.

This recipe is a combination of all of those.

1 medium onion, chopped
6-8 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 large bell pepper, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped (use canned petite diced tomatoes - 2 cans - if in a hurry)
1 cup black beans (use canned to make it easy (1 can)  but that is not as healthy as when made the hard way, they say)
1 small bunch cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped ( I don't mind the seeds - but it adds heat, remember!)
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp dried oregano - if fresh, use more
1- 2  tsp  dried basil- if fresh use more
1/2 tsp red pepper
a sprinkle of paprika
black pepper, salt
4-5 eggs
Olive oil
grated cheddar - 1/4 cup or as much as you like

Soak the beans overnight (8 hours, more or less). Drain. Pour enough water to cover the beans, maybe a little over, bring to a boil, Simmer, covered. Cook till tender but firm (not mushy). Or, if you are using canned, you can skip all that. ;)

Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Heat oil in a skillet. Saute the onions and garlic till almost brown. Add the spices.
Stir. Add the bell peppers, cilantro, jalapenos, tomatoes. Stir around. Cover. Simmer. 20 minutes.

Remove the lid, add the beans now. cook some more till the sauce is thick.
Now, you may make indents in the thick sauce, Put a little dot of butter in each space,
and crack  an egg into each. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the eggs. Now there are two ways to do this. You may either cover the skillet and cook it for 5 minutes or so, or, bake it like I did here.
Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes, or until the eggs are set to your liking.

Garnish with cilantro or jalapeno peppers, or basil or all of those.

Serve with toast or tortillas, or pita, or Indian roti, It is even good with rice, for dinner.

Use less or more red pepper, according to your preference,  when you make the dish.

huevos rancheros

Sunday, January 4, 2015

leftover roast duck stirfry

It was roast duck with orange glaze for our quiet New Year dinner. Even though the duck was not that big, there was some meat left over. Enough for a quick stirfry.

I am not going to give a list here. Because there's n't much to expand on.

I had a small green bell pepper in the fridge. can use any other veg. I like bell peppers in stirfries. Heated a little oil in a wok and saut├ęd the green bell pepper first, and set it aside. Then did the same with some chopped onion + a few cloves of garlic, crushed/minced, in that oil.
Added a couple of tsp of crushed red pepper. Next, a few dashes of the sauces in the following picture:

That is, a splash of vinegar - say, a tbsp, 2 tsps of the sweet chili sauce, 3-4 tsps of the green chili sauce, 3 tsps of the  dark soy sauce. The aim was a sweet-sour-hot taste - just a teeny tiny hint of sweet and a little more sour and a lot more heat.

Anyway, stirred the thing around for a minute or two. Added the shredded (roast)duck. Gave a good stir. And don't let's forget the bell peppers, or broccoli or whatever vegetable you may have lying around. Added that now. Stirred it all around for some more.
 Should taste to see if you like the seasoning. Correct to your taste - salt and such.
If you still don't like it, nothing much you can do really, except tip it into the waste bin while no one's looking. Just kidding, you will like it. :)

Have it with some rice.

Now, you can make this using roast chicken or regular chicken, beef, or pork. Pretty much your basic stir fry. Just be sure to use thinly cut pieces. For instance, to make it easy, buy beef that's cut for asian-style stir fries. Or that Milanese cut , which you can further cut into smaller pieces.
This was the roast duck, btw.