Monthly Archives: September 2013

Israeli Stewed Tomatoes with Eggs (Shakshuka)

Shakshuka1 (1 of 1)This is a great way to prepare tomatoes and egg. This flavorful dish, called Shakshuka,  is popular in Israel. When researching this fantastic dish, some sources indicated that its origin is Israel, though others indicated that it may have been brought to Israel by Tunisian immigrants. In any case, it’s delicious! I like to serve it with Israeli couscous and a small green salad with a simple lemon vinaigrette. I hope you’ll try this dish!

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely grated or minced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
2 14-oz cans diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
6 eggs
1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute 3 minutes, or until soft. Add garlic and continue to saute for another 30 seconds. Add bell pepper to the onion mixture; saute for 7 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne, sugar, salt and pepper. Shakshuka2 (1 of 1)Stir well to combine. Simmer for about 6 minutes, until mixture thickens. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired (I add about 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 ground black pepper) . Crack the eggs evenly over the sauce. Cover skillet and reduce heat to low. Simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes, until eggs are cooked to your liking. Remove from heat, garnish with parsley. Serve out of the skillet at the table.

Serves 6.

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Braised Pork Loin in a “Black” Tomato Sauce (Brasato di Maiale al Sugo Nero)

Braised_Pork_in_a_Black_Sauce1 (1 of 1)Now that autumn has arrived in New England, it’s time to get back to the heartier dishes. This is a Southern Italian dish, where you braise a pork loin in a simple but delicious sauce until it just about falls apart (remember, the braising method is “low and slow”). The name of this dish (I’m guessing) comes from the tomato sauce, which cooks down until it is almost “black.” You’ll enjoy the smell of this cooking in your kitchen — I hope you’ll try this dish!

3 – 4 lbs boneless, center-cut pork loin, trimmed and tied with butcher’s twine at 2-inch intervals
2 tsp salt
6 large fresh sage leaves
3 oz pancetta
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1/3 cup flat parsley leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups red wine
2 cups canned tomato puree

Rub the pork with the salt; slide the sage leaves under the twine evenly around the meat. Let stand for 1/2 hour.

Mince together the pancetta, garlic and parsley into a fine paste. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the pancetta/garlic mixture and cook for 3 minutes. Add the pork and brown on all sides (about 5 minutes). Add 1 cup of the wine; let evaporate. Add the remaining 1 cup wine and the tomato puree. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer gently for 2 hours.

Remove the pork from the pan;  remove twine and cover with foil. Let stand for 1/2 hour.

In the meantime, increase the heat for the sauce to medium high. Reduce the sauce until rather thick and “black,” about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with pasta or bread.

Serves 6.

Garlic Chicken Simmered with Pearl Onions in a Tamarind Broth (Ayam Bawang)

Ayam_Bawang1 (1 of 1)This Indonesian chicken dish is quite different from many of my others, in that its flavors are much more subtle, and the sauce, which is typically very thick, is much more of a broth. For this, I really enjoy this recipe for a change. The tamarind broth is simple and delicious! I hope you’ll try this dish!

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 large), cut into bite-size pieces
3 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp canola oil
3 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely grated or minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 tsp Laos powder
1 red Thai chili, chopped
2 Tbsp tamarind water
1 Tbsp kecap manis
1 cup water
10 pearl onions, peeled

Combine chicken with salt and black pepper in a bowl.

Heat oil in a wok over high heat. Add chicken and cook for 4 minutes. Add garlic, ginger and Laos powder, and stir fry for an additional minute. Add chili, tamarind water, kecap manis, water and the pearl onions. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

Serves 4.