Archive for August, 2011

With our powers combined: the best breakfasts from Ireland and Israel

We recently (and not so recently) visited Ireland and Israel.  We had a great time in both places and brought back some of our tastiest breakfasts from each place.  From Israel we took shakshuka, which is basically eggs poached in a delicious spicy tomato sauce.  From Ireland came the Irish breakfast, which apparently varies somewhat depending on which region you’re in but consisted mainly of fried eggs, fried mushrooms and tomatoes, baked beans and a variety of sausages, blood and otherwise.  We’ve been making these pretty regularly since we brought them back (shakshuka is now my go to breakfast for impressing people).  A couple weeks ago I came up with idea of combining the two, and thus shakshirish was born!

Ingredients (we didn’t go shopping specially for this, we just happened to have most of what we needed on hand):
3 tomatoes (ours were from  Frog Holler Organic Farm)
1 onion
3-5 cloves of garlic (I don’t remember exactly, I just like garlic, OK)
a handful of mushrooms
1 can of baked beans (vegetarian)
1 red pepper (I didn’t have one, but I would have used it if I did)
3 veggie sausage links (feel free to use the meaty kind if that’s your thing)
4 eggs
Spices: garlic powder, zhatar, cayenne pepper, cumin, paprika, schug (if you have it)

Sidebar: If you can figure out how to have friends who work on organic farms I highly recommend it.  Every time they come to visit we get more delicious organic goodness than we know what to do with.

Tools: a pan with a lid and a wooden spoon

Wash and destem the mushrooms.  Dice the onions, most of the garlic and the mushroom stems.  Slice the peppers into thin strips.

Heat up some oil in your pan and toss in the diced/sliced veggies, the whole mushrooms and the sausages.  I left the sausage whole, but it’d probably be pretty damn good if you broke it up (especially if you’re using actual sausage).

Dice the tomatoes and toss ’em in when the veggies are starting to get soft.

Add your spices.  It’s supposed to be spicy and piquant.  You probably won’t need the cayenne if you’re using schug.

Drain your beans while that cooks down a little bit.  I saved the sauce in case I needed more liquid, but I didn’t end up using it.

Once the tomatoes are starting to soften up, dump in that can of beans and stir it up.  Lower the heat a bit and simmer for a while until the consistency is a thick but not dry.  Remember that you’re cooking the eggs in the sauce, so it needs to be liquid enough for that, but not too wet or the eggs will sink through (more of an issue when you’re cooking for a party in a big ass wok).

Once the consistency looks right, make a little indentation with the back of your spoon and crack an egg into it.  I tried to position a mushrooom in the indentation so the yolk would land where the stem used to be, but my mushrooms were too small for that to work.  I like to sprinkle zhatar, garlic powder, cayenne and paprika at this point to make the eggs look all pretty.

Shakshuka + Irish Breakfast = yum!

Right after I put the eggs in.

Cover partially, lower the temperature to medium and simmer until the eggs are done (I like mine pretty soft).  If you’re cooking for people who like differently done eggs, only cover two of the eggs so you can get two hard and two soft.

Serve with toast, hummus coffee.

All plated up

Maybe I just don’t know the Irish spice palette very well, but it turned out tasting mostly like shakshuka and not too Irishy.  I’m open to suggestions as to how make this a more even combination.  Deana suggested just doing the Irish breakfast alongside a normal shakshuka, which sounds pretty damn good.

Mmm...spices...


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