SHAKSHUKA (Tunisian Tomato, Pepper, and Cauliflower Sauce With Eggs)
Adapted from Dina Alfasi
Source: Tablet Magazine
2 green peppers
4 large red tomatoes (2 pounds) or one 28-ounce can of San Marzano tomatoes
1/3 to ½ cup olive oil
4 to 5 cloves garlic
½ small hot green pepper, like a jalapeno, seeds removed
½ cauliflower, cut in florets
2 cups green fava beans, or carrots, depending on the season
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper or to taste
1 cup tomato juice or water (about)
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 to 2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
Juice of 1 lemon (optional)
4-6 large eggs
4 ounces feta cheese
½ cup fresh cilantro
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and put the green peppers on a cookie sheet. Bake in the oven, turning once for about 20 minutes, or until charred and soft. When cool enough to handle, peel them, removing the seeds and any white pith from the peppers. Then cut them into large squares.
2. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Plunge the tomatoes into the boiling water for a minute or two, remove with a slotted spoon, and cool in a bowl of ice water. When they are cool enough to handle, peel and dice, keeping most of the liquid but discarding the skin.
3. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or two until fragrant but not burnt. Stir in the hot pepper, the peppers, tomatoes, the cauliflowers, the fava beans or carrots, the crushed hot pepper, and 1 cup tomato juice or water, simmering very slowly, uncovered, for about an hour or until much of the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste and, if needed, add sugar and lemon juice. You can do this a day in advance.
4. Reheat the sauce, adding a little tomato juice or water if it seems too thick. Carefully break 4 to 6 eggs in the sauce, sprinkle the feta cheese around the eggs, cover for about 3 minutes until the yolks are hard, shaking the pan every once in a while (thus the word shakshuka). Remove the cover and serve, sprinkled with the cilantro.
Yield: 4-6 servings
ALMOND MALABI (PUDDING) WITH PISTACHIOS AND POMEGRANATE MOLASSES
Adapted from Chef Amos Sion
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
½ cup sugar
¼ cup pomegranate molasses
1 cup pistachio nuts, roasted and chopped
1. Dissolve the cornstarch in 1 cup of the milk, stirring carefully until totally dissolved, and set aside. Bring the remaining milk, cream, and almond milk to a simmer in a medium saucepan.
2. Stir in the cornstarch slurry and mix with a whisk until thick, for about 2 minutes. Whisk in the sugar, and pour the mixture into 8 individual bowls or 1 large bowl, making sure to thoroughly scrape the sides of the pot.
3. Cool overnight in the refrigerator. Before serving drizzle a little of the pomegranate syrup on top and sprinkle with the pistachio nuts and/or fresh berries.