Shakshouka – Middle-Eastern Egg Bake


Shakshouka Middle-Eastern Egg Bake

I stumbled on this recipe after a friend posted it on Facebook. I have adapted it from the original, featured on The New York Times.  It is a recipe that originated in Tunisia, North Africa, and remains very popular in Israel, due to cultural ties from the early 1950s.  The incredible, mind-numbing heat from the Berbere spice takes center stage, so use it sparingly.  I created this as a single-serving dish, as the rest of my family cannot tolerate the spice. Prepare it in a 5″ well-seasoned cast-iron skillet.

Serve on a cold winter morning — it is incredibly satisfying.  Enjoy!

 

Ingredients:

2 tbs. XV olive oil
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
2 large cloves garlic, finely minced
1 medium tomato, cored and finely diced
1/4 cup Feta cheese
1 tsp. smoked Spanish paprika
1/2 tsp. Berbere seasoning, to taste (use with reservation)
1 tsp. cumin seed, toasted and then ground in a mortar
Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
2 eggs
Chopped cilantro leaves for garnish

 

Directions:

Prepare all of the ingredients and have them ready.  Preheat your oven to 375°.  Using a 5″ cast-iron skillet, add two tablespoons of olive oil and saute the onion and pepper over medium heat, about 15 minutes. Lower the heat and add the minced garlic, taking care not to scorch it. Continue to saute for two minutes.

Add the diced tomato, smoked paprika, berbere, ground cumin, salt and pepper, and continue to saute for about 3 minutes until reduced.

Add the crumbled Feta cheese, then carefully crack two eggs and place on top. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, until the eggs have set. Carefully remove and place on a trivet. Allow to cool for two minutes, add the chopped cilantro and serve in the skillet.

 

 

Smoked Spanish paprika (L), Ethiopian Berbere (R) and whole cumin seed

Smoked Spanish paprika (L), Ethiopian Berbere (R) and whole cumin seed

shakshouka recipe | Culinary Compost

Saute the onion and pepper in olive oil. Then add the minced garlic.

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Zucchini Bread


This fantastic recipe will fill 2 large loaf pans. Thanks to my friend Sarah for sharing.

 

Ingredients:

3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar

In a large mixing bowl, beat the first three ingredients together until light and foamy using an electric hand mixer. Then add the following:

2 cups grated fresh zucchini
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour
3 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup nuts (optional)

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325-degrees F.

Fold in the rest of the ingredients shown above using an electric hand mixer on the lowest setting. Line two standard-sized loaf pans with parchment paper. Divide batter between the pans.

Bake for 1 hour. Then increase the heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 10 minutes. When done, a knife or toothpick should pull out clean when placed in the center of each loaf.

Remove, let stand ten minutes, then cut into 1/2″ slices and serve with real butter.

Old-Fashioned Baked Apples


This ridiculously-simple recipe is a Swedish favorite from my grandmother.

Ingredients:

4 red apples – peeled, cored and cut into eighths
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 stick of butter (please do not use margarine – it will not turn out.)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300°. Heat the butter over the stove top in a 2-quart cast-iron pot until melted. Mix in the brown sugar, apples and cinnamon.

Bake covered for 1 hour. Serve plain or with vanilla ice cream in small serving dishes.

Serves 4.

Arizona Baked Corn Dip


Arizona Baked Corn Dip | Culinary Compost Recipes

This is a great recipe that keeps well when reheated the second day. The green chili and jalapeño add just the right amount of zip for even the pickiest guests.

And now for my helpful tip: Being the chef who actually made this stunning appetizer, you have first dibs. Strategically grab a ginormous serving spoon — or better yet, a gravy ladle. Cut to the front of the line, load up a plate and don’t worry about embarrassing yourself — you’re going to be eating that much anyway, so you might as well beat everyone else to it. Trust me, they’ll respect you for it.

 

Ingredients:

1 can, 15-1/4 oz. whole kernel corn – drained
2 cans, 4 oz. each, chopped green chilis, drained
1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 tbs fresh chopped jalapeño pepper
1 cup mayo (please do this dish justice and don’t go with the low-fat version)
1/2 cup grated Mexican Cotija cheese (Nuestro Queso is an excellent brand) or hard Parmesan
1 4 oz. can sliced black olives, drained

Snack tortilla chips or crackers

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F.
In a bowl, combine the corn, chilis, red pepper, Monterey Jack cheese and fresh jalapeño. Stir in the mayo and grated Cotija or Parmesan cheese. Mix well.

Transfer to an ungreased 2-qt. square baking dish and level with a spatula. Sprinkle the black olives on top. Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes or until heated through, slightly brown and bubbly, with most of the liquid cooked off. Remove from the oven and let stand for ten minutes to set before serving.

Serve hot with tortilla chips or party crackers.

Serves 6-8.

Chicago-Style Spaghetti


This recipe is from my grandmother, which originated in 1930’s Chicago. It’s a perfect example of Depression-era cooking at its best.  The spices include only three ingredients; it’s all that’s needed. A baked spaghetti dish that offers a refreshing change of pace — bacon. What’s not to like?

I absolutely love this recipe! It’s been a family favorite for many years. Enjoy—

Ingredients:

1/2 pound bacon, chopped into 1/2″ chunks
2 huge Spanish onions, chopped
3 large cans (28 oz. each) whole peeled tomatoes, mashed, with liquid
1 8 oz. can of mushrooms (stems and pieces) with liquid
Salt to taste (about two tsp.)
Garlic powder to taste (about 1 tbs.)
Cayenne red pepper flakes to taste

1 16-oz. box spaghetti noodles

Directions:

In a large cast-iron skillet, saute the bacon until most of the fat renders out. Drain off the excess fat if needed while it renders. Add the onion and saute until translucent and soft. Do NOT completely brown the bacon or carmelize the onion. Drain off the excess fat. Transfer to a large 6-quart Granite Ware roaster pan. Add the crushed tomatoes and the mushrooms with liquid from the cans.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Stir occasionally and cook for 1/2 hour, covered.

Add the salt, garlic and cayenne to taste.

Heat oven to 250° F.

While the sauce is cooking, boil the pasta al dente, according to box directions with 1 teaspoon salt. Drain (set aside, covered if necessary) and add to the roaster pan. Toss gently.
Bake covered for 1 hour, stirring once at 1/2 hour. Remove from oven and let sit five minutes covered before serving.

Serve with a nice side salad and garlic bread.

Serves 6

Chicago-Style Spaghetti | Culinary Compost Recipes

Chicago-Style Spaghetti | Culinary Compost Recipes

 

A Note on the Preparation:
The cookware indicated is exactly the same as in my grandmother’s kitchen back in the 1930s.  Some things don’t need to be improved on.

Hearty Baked Beans


This is a very regional upper-midwest recipe. It takes on many forms and is always a crowd pleaser. Enjoy at your next fall get-together.

Ingredients:

1 lb. ground beef
2 large onions – chopped
3/4 lb. bacon – cooked, drained and crumbled
4 cans (15 oz. each) pork and beans
1 18oz. bottle honey BBQ sauce
1 can (16oz.) kidney beans – drained
1 can (16oz.) lima beans – drained
1 can (16oz.) black beans – drained
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 tbs. cider vinegar
1 tbs. liquid smoke (optional)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fresh-ground black pepper

Directions:

In large skillet cook the beef and onions. Drain off fat.
Cook the bacon, drain and crumble.

Transfer to 5qt. Dutch oven. Stir in all remaining ingredients. Cover and bake at 350° F. for one hour.

Stir and serve.

Makes 18 servings.