Friday, March 10, 2017

North African Eggs

These are from Gordon Ramsay's Home Cooking. Rose loves Ramsay's cookbooks and I definitely have come around to her way of thinking. Not only are the recipes generally simple and well conceived but they always work. Someone really tested these and, the state of cookbook testing being what it is these days, I appreciate that a lot!

This is essentially eggs poached in a flavorful tomato sauce. It makes a wonderful meatless meal and is a lot more filling than you would think. Gordon Ramsay suggests them for breakfast but I'm just not that adventurous in the morning.

We serve them with a crusty sourdough roll and it makes a simple and exotic meal.

North African Eggs

Olive oil, for frying
1 onion, peeled and diced
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
1 green pepper, seeded and diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1 red chili, seeded and chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
5 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped (add a pinch of sugar if the tomatoes aren’t quite ripe)
4 eggs
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
To serve

1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
1 green onion, trimmed and finely chopped
Crusty bread


Serves 2-4

Heat a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Add a dash of oil and sweat the onion for 5 minutes until soft. Add the peppers and continue to sweat for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and chili and fry for 1–2 minutes until soft and tender.

Add the cumin and fry for 1 minute, then add the tomatoes, season and cook for 15–20 minutes until the tomatoes have completely collapsed (add 3–4 tablespoons of water to the mixture if the tomatoes aren’t that moist). The mixture should be the consistency of a thick sauce. Stir to mix well, taste and adjust the seasoning.

Make 4 wells in the tomato mixture and break an egg into each well. Cover the pan and cook gently over a medium-low heat for 5–6 minutes, or until the egg white is set and the yolk is still a little runny.

Serve sprinkled with coriander leaves and chopped green onion, plus plenty of crusty bread on the side to mop up any juices.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Green Soup (Hara Shorva)

This is from Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking. She says it is India's version of cream of pea soup. But It is both more highly spiced and more delicious than a traditional pea soup. The spices lift this soup to a whole new level. With a salad and maybe a roll it is a delicious meatless meal.

Green Soup

1 medium potato, peeled and roughly diced
1 medium onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
5 cups chicken stock
3/4 inch cube of fresh ginger, peeled
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
5 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/2 fresh hot green chili
10 ounces shelled green peas, fresh or frozen
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground roasted cumin seeds (we usually skip this step)
2/3 cup heavy cream

Combine the potato, onion, chicken stock, ginger, ground coriander and ground cumin in a pot and bring to a boil. Cover and turn heat to low, simmer for 30 minutes.

Fish out the cube of ginger and discard it. Add the cilantro, green chili, peas, salt, lemon juice and ground roasted cumin seeds. Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered for 2-3 minutes or until the peas are just tender.

Empty the soup into the container of an electric blender in 2-3 batches and blend until it is smooth. Put the soup into a clean pot. Add the cream and bring to a simmer to heat through. Serves 5-6.