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.

Mike’s Wisconsin Batter-Fried Bluegills


This recipe takes me back thirty-five years to my childhood in northern Wisconsin. My grandmother would fry up 60 fresh-caught bluegill fillets in a large black cast-iron skillet for the family. There is no better home-cooked meal – period. I hope you enjoy this special recipe as much as I do.

Ingredients:

30 bluegill fillets, cleaned and rinsed in cold water
1 quart vegetable oil
8 oz. buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
1-1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fresh-ground black pepper

Directions:

Preheat a 5-quart cast-iron dutch oven over medium-high with the vegetable oil. The oil will be ready for deep-frying when a drop of water sizzles on contact.

Place the buttermilk and egg in a wide, shallow baking dish. Whisk thoroughly. Place the bluegill fillets in the dish and coat evenly.

Prepare a two-quart plastic food storage bag with the flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. Shake well.

Shake off the fillets and add to the bag, about eight at a time. Coat evenly and transfer to the dutch oven; frying in batches. Deep fry until just lightly golden-brown. Ensure that the bluegill fillets are not overcooked. Using a Chinese spider strainer, remove and transfer to a heated platter with paper towel to absorb the excess frying oil.

Serve immediately with lemon wedges and tartar sauce.

Serves 4-6.

Mike’s Big Breakfast Skillet Potatoes


Mike's Big Breakfast Skillet Potatoes | Culinary Compost RecipesThis is a Sunday favorite in our house – if you have a large skillet, this recipe will feed at least six people with plenty of leftovers. There is no substitute for a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet. The flavor of this recipe really shines when prepared in cast-iron.

Ingredients:

6 large Idaho cooking potatoes, washed and scrubbed with skins left on
2 ribs celery with greens, washed and fine sliced
1 large onion, peeled and rough chopped
Garlic powder to taste
1/4 tsp. ground dry thyme
1 tbs. dry parsley
1 tbs. dry chives
1 tbs. ground smoked Spanish paprika
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
3 tbs. butter
2 tbs XV olive oil

Directions:

Prepare the potatoes and slice in planks, leaving the skins on, then quarter into matchsticks. Ensure they are sliced evenly. Preheat a large 12″ cast-iron skillet over medium low with a little cooking spray. Add 3 tbs. butter and the potatoes. Chop the onion and celery and add to the skillet. Level and let sit a bit to brown.

Prepare the spices and add to taste. Stir every ten minutes or so, until evenly crispy brown. My wife likes them somewhat burnt on the edges. I add the olive oil after the potatoes start to brown so it doesn’t scorch.

When possible use fresh parsley and garden chives. If going this route, add a bit later during cooking so they don’t burn.

Remove from heat and serve with bacon and eggs. Serve with ketchup and hot sauce on the side, or all by itself.

Serves: 4-6
Cooking Time: 1.25 hours

Mike's Big Breakfast Skillet Potatoes | Culinary Compost Recipes

Country Skillet Baked Hash Browns


These baked hash browns are really easy to prepare. You can use frozen store-bought hash browns, but I think the fresh just taste better. Ensure that the edges get crispy – that’s the best part!

Ingredients:

3 large potatoes, washed, scrubbed and shredded (leave the skins on!)
1 small white onion, minced
1 cup milk
1/2 cup beef broth
2 cups shredded Colby cheese
1/4 tsp. fresh-ground black pepper
Pinch of salt, to taste
2 tbs. butter, divided

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 425° F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the shredded cheese, minced onion, potato. Stir well to incorporate.

In a separate mixing bowl, add the milk, beef stock, salt and pepper. Melt 1 tbs. butter and add to the liquid ingredients. Stir well and add this mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix well to incorporate.

Heat a large, heavy 12″ cast-iron pan sprayed with no-stick cooking spray on the stove top over medium-high and add 1 tbs. butter. Render the butter until just lightly browned. Immediately spoon in the potato mixture and brown for about seven minutes until the cheese is just melted. Stir once during this time. Level it smooth with a spatula and place the skillet in the oven.

Cook uncovered for about 45-60 minutes until the top turns golden brown and the edges form a nice crust. Remove from the oven and let stand for five minutes before serving.
If your pan is well-seasoned, the potatoes will NOT stick.

Pair with bacon and eggs. Fantastic.

Serves 4-6

Skillet Quiche Egg and Cheese Bake


Cast-Iron Skillet Spinach Quiche | Culinary Compost Recipes

This is a smaller quiche recipe that will fill an 8″ skillet. It will serve four. I love the spinach in this recipe – I tried other veggies but have always come back to it.
Best served in cast iron as it ensures very even cooking.

 

Ingredients:

Seasoned croutons
Chopped ham
Chopped spinach
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp. dry parsley
1 tsp. dry chives

5 eggs – beaten
1/4 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

Spray the cast iron skillet so that it doesn’t stick. Preheat your oven to 325°F.

Layer the first six ingredients in the order shown. Place enough croutons to evenly cover the bottom of the skillet. Load up the ham and spinach to your liking.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and milk and add the salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the base ingredients in the skillet. If the ingredients mound slightly over the top of the skillet, that’s ok; the spinach will settle a lot when baked.

Bake in the oven uncovered for 50-60 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove and let stand for two minutes. Quarter and serve hot.

Note: Cast-iron cooks very efficiently. Do not let it overcook.

Serves 2-4.

 

Cast-Iron Skillet Spinach Quiche | Culinary Compost Recipes