RISE & SHINE KAUT43 OKC
I have been on an egg cookery kick the entire week. Why? Well, because eggs are an integral ingredient in the kitchen and because it can be used in so many ways.
Did you know the number of pleats in a Chef’s toque (hat) are said to represent the different ways a Chef can use an egg?
My version of the classical middle eastern/Israeli dish Shakshuka is a good example of poaching an egg. Not poaching in the sense of hot lemony water and a Sunday brunch menu item, but in the sense of cooking a protein slowly in a liquid under the boiling point temperature. Now don't quote me on that interpretation or definition of poaching… I just made it up… but you understand what I am getting at.
Shakshuka is a dish of eggs poached in a concoction of tomatoes and peppers and flavored with exotic spices. Typically cooked in cast iron pans or as in Morocco, cooked in a tagine, once the eggs are set in the flavorful mixture it's all about the side of bread ready to sop up that glorious flavor.
My version of shakshuka is a slight twist on the regional classic… Shocker. Naturally, I incorporate In The Kitchen With Scotty seasonings, but also add a little Persian flare with the addition of fresh fried string potatoes. With some Persian “comfort food” (and I actually consider Shakshuka a great hangover cure) we add the addition of fried potatoes in some form.
So take a look, plan a brunch, or have your mis en place ready to go for the next morning after a night on the town with the boys! I hope you enjoy!
Oh… and because I cant say or think of Shakshuka without thinking of the one and only Queen of Funk, Chaka Khan… here’s this important jam from my pre-teen years.
6 whole eggs
1 tablespoon grapeseed or olive oil
2-3 large shallots sliced into thin rings
1 large poblano pepper, seeded & diced
3 cloves fresh garlic, smashed and chopped
3 cups rough chopped fresh tomatoes
1 14.5 ounce can crushed “fire roasted” tomatoes (regular crushed tomatoes work too)
2-3 tablespoons In The Kitchen With Scotty “Little Bit More” Seasoning
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper (or cayenne pepper)
1-2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into shoestring potatoes
oil for frying
minced parlsey for added color
- Pull out your favorite cast iron skillet or fancy cast iron enamel pan and begin heating a few tablespoons of the oil. Add the shallot rings and diced poblano peppers and cook slowly until tender. Add the “Little Bit More” Seasoning, the chili powder, and ground chipotle pepper. Mix in and let the flavors come alive. Yes, ALIVE!
- Add the chopped garlic and cook until fragrant, then pour in the rough chopped tomatoes. Mix well, then pour in the 14.5 ounce can of crushed tomatoes. Cover and slowly simmer on low heat for 15 minutes to extract moisture and cook the acid out of the tomatoes.
- While that is going on start working on the potatoes. Rinse, peel, and hand cut (or use a mandoline) to cut the shoe stain potatoes. Refer to YouTube if you need help with this. Soak the freshly cut potties in cold water to prevent oxidation (browning) and to rinse away the potato starch.
- After cooking the tomato mixture for 15 minutes, mash the larger tomatoes down with a wooden spoon to extract even more liquid, and to break down the chunks of tomatoes. Now, if you can be careful and not burn the inside of your wrists and forearm, turn the heat off from under the pan. Carefully crack the eggs in a circular pattern onto of the tomato mixture. Or you can crack three eggs at a time inside a liquid measuring cup and slowly pour out one egg at a time; Add all six eggs. Give the pan a few gentle shakes to nestle the eggs into the tomato sauce, cover and slowly return to heating. Gently cook another 6-8 minutes or until the eggs are set but still “jiggly”. They will continue to cook in the hot tomato sauce even after removing from the heat.
- Heat 1/2 inch of fry oil in a pan. Pour the string potatoes into a colander and drain off the water. Turn the potatoes out onto a kitchen towel or paper tows and dry off well. Water in hot oil will POP, so make sure those suckers are dry.
- Fry the shoestring potatoes until golden brown. Remove them to a paper towel lined bowl and toss to season with Cook’s Line Seasoning.
- When you’re ready to dig in, plate up a bit of the tomato sauce. Top with a poached egg or two, and a nice pile of shoestring potatoes on top. Add a little minced parsley for color…. and your Shak Shak Shak Shakshuka is ready to enjoy!