By James Bacon
As autumn is in full swing now, I like to keep warm and cosy on my day off, so what better way to do that than start the day with this shakshuka. This is a wonderfully warm and spicy dish of lightly poached eggs nestled in and amongst a rich sauce made of tomatoes, bell peppers and sweet paprika. I like to dress mine with crumbly salty Greek feta, freshly chopped coriander and parsley, chilli oil and of course chilli flakes from the Cole & Mason Saunderton spice shaker.
Kitchen tools needed: Cole and Mason Saunderton spice shaker, Stock pot or large frying pan
A family of 4 as a light breakfast or 2 hungry people for brunch
- 1 large onion sliced finely
- 4 cloves of garlic finely sliced
- 1 large or 2 medium long sweet red peppers deseeded and sliced finely
- 1 bell pepper deseeded and sliced finely
- 1 can of whole plum tomatoes
- 1tsp of paprika
- 1tsp of cumin seeds (1/2 whole and 1/2 ground in a pestle Mortar)
- 1/4-1/2 a teaspoon of chilli powder (depending how spicy you like it
- 4 eggs
- Freshly cracked salt and black pepper from your Cole & Mason salt and pepper mills
- 1 tbs of olive oil and a good nob of butter
For the topping
- small handful of chopped parsley and coriander
- 20g-30g of crumbled feta cheese
- good sprinkle of chilli flakes
- drizzle of chilli oil
- generous shower of black pepper
- Once you have prepared all of the ingredients accordingly, gently heat the whole Cumin seeds in the Olive oil and butter in your pan on a medium/low heat until fragrant (don’t let them burn). Add the onions and cook for 5 mins until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and peppers and cook with the lid on for a further 5-7 mins to retain moisture - stir occasionally to ensure they don’t stick to the pan!
- Add the remaining dried spices to the pan and cook for 1 minute, then add the tomatoes, break these down with the back of the spoon and simmer for 10 mins covered.
- Remove the lid and reduce to desired consistency (you should be able to make a small well for your eggs!) crack in your eggs and recover and leave to poach for around 8-10 mins on a low heat (check periodically so you don’t overcook the eggs)
- Once your eggs are cooked, remove the pan from the heat and start to dress your shakshuka!
As always with tomato dishes, be sure to check your seasonings especially as with this dish you can’t really stir your sauce once you have added your eggs. I always balance acidity with a pinch of sugar, all as adding salt and pepper.
Be creative with your toppings, I have kept it fresh with feta and herbs, but you could also opt for a hearty topping of crispy pan-fried chorizo or halloumi, or even with labneh and za’tar.