Good morning..(or afternoon/evening), depends on when you are reading this! I hope you are well. That’s the great thing about shakshuka. You can have it any time.
All you need with it is a hunk of bread and you can dip into it. It’s also a great sharing meal. We shared ours with our kids. This is a moroccan baked egg dish. I add feta to mine like I generally have been doing with omelettes for a few years now. Although I know that isn’t a new thing.
Sometimes shakshuka can be very tangy and I don’t do tangy. By tangy I mean that salsa type flavour. I am not a fan of salsa. To counteract that, I add more onions and cook them until they are very very brown but not burnt. I also add a little sugar to the mix.
My son isn’t a fan of vegetables. I know I have mentioned that a few times but even though this isn’t swimming in vegetables, the mere fact that he ate red peppers felt like a triumph. We were walking around like we had achieved great things. Like I said shakshuka feels like food to be shared (Like queso or fondue) and that’s how we had it and I would encourage you to share the love too.
Today, I’m typing this from the edge of my sofa. My daughter is sprawled across the sofa. She followed me down early this morning and then fell asleep on the sofa (It’s a 2 seater). I have a feeling, I will be on the floor soon. Oh and here comes my little boy..I mean what is the point of waking up so early to get work done? 🙄 Lol
This post was supposed to be out last week, however it just wasn’t possible. 🙁 Hopefully once we have been doing this a bit longer and have ‘found our feet’ we will schedule the posts to go out at specific times each week. Apologies for anyone who was waiting for some shakshuka fun.
My daughter was sick last week. I don’t want to be too graphic in a food post but it was not pretty and it stank. So I was knee deep in carrier bags/bins/cleaning products.
Alongside this, we were dealing with a few other things. As i have said, this year has been unusual in the amount of bad news that we have heard and that trend continued last week BUT honestly, it really makes you count your blessings. When I say this year, I am actually talking about February to February. So I am hoping that things start looking up on the sad news front.
Also Wednesday marks one year since we lost my beloved father in law. Sometimes, I feel like i talk about this too much but then I remind myself that me missing him is natural and even more so because of how special he was. I remember when I was newly engaged and I was stood at Preston train station. My phone rang and it was my father in law. (We had just found out that he was ill)..I hadn’t actually spoken more then 2 words to him yet and I was so shy around him at that time. (That soon changed). Anyway, I looked down at my phone and panicked. I then rang my husband to be and said ‘What should I do, your dad is calling me.’ He was like, ‘well just answer the phone.’ So I called my father in law back, He asked me about my train journey, times, stops, ETA. I come from a very laid-back family so this was alien to me but I soon found out that this was the norm for him. When anyone took a journey, he was always there like a protective hand to so many people, guiding them along their journey. When my parents broke down on the motorway, he was in the background helping them making sure their insurance covered them, telling them what route to take etc etc. He was the most useful person I have ever known. He really cared about people. He was unbelievably bright and he was hilarious. He was loved by people young and old. He loved to sing. He was loud and proud and an amazing soul. He was mr.apple mac. He would go into the stores and teach them things they didn’t know. People would travel to have him fix any issues with their laptops/phones. He was a master at so many things. He was multi talented. For example, he was a graphic designer without having ever studied it academically and a great photographer without having the qualifications.
Somehow this week, it feels as raw as when he left us. Tears run down my face every time I think of him. Seeing my husband hurting is difficult. For a year, I haven’t seen my husband grieve. I have seen him cry once and seen his eyes fill with tears once. My husband loved his dad. He was the first person he told me about. This week I have seen him looking lost. He mentions his dad and then closes down again. The pain is too much for him to deal with. For me, there are regrets of missed conversations for sure but more then that I miss how he loved us and our kids. I miss knowing that someone loved us like that. He did so much for us. I hate seeing my little boy sad. He is only 4 and I didn’t know 4 year olds could grieve but they can. They are resilient and matter of fact about it but they can also grieve. Imagine holding a 4 year old who in inconsolable because he wants his granddad? That alone breaks my heart. Please remember my pops in your prayers.
I also had an interview last week! After five years of avoiding social contact (haha, ok maybe not), I met with other humans for a coffee. Ok ok..after 5 years without interviews and being in a working environment i had an interview. I was so nervous even though it was for a voluntary position for a charity, but I got the job! Yay! It is a part time position and one that won’t require hours of my time which is why i felt I could squeeze it in and I was over the moon to be offered the job.
Anyway here is that recipe.
- 4 eggs
- 2 large onions diced
- 1 red bell pepper cut into long strips
- 1 x 400g tin tomates blended until no lumps remain
- 100 g Feta
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp thyme
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp oil
- A few sprigs parsley to garnish.
In a dry non stick pan , heat the cumin seeds over high heat for 1 minute
Now add the oil and onions to the pan. Allow to cook for five minutes.
Then add the bell pepper, sugar, garlic, thyme and parsley.
Allow to cook for a further 15 minutes on a medium heat, stirring occasionally to make sure it isn't catching.
When the onions are a very dark brown, stir in the cayenne, paprika and coriander powder.
Mix the tomatoes into the pan with salt and pepper.
Cook for ten minutes over a medium/high heat stirring occasionally.
Crumble in the feta and mix through for 2 minutes.
Halve the mixture between 2 oven proof dishes and crack 2 eggs into each dish. Season the eggs.
Put the dishes under a hot grill for 5 - 6 minutes. Keep a close eye on it though to make sure it doesn't catch.
Top with some chopped parsley and enjoy.