Monday, April 27, 2009

Shakshuka with bulgogi

The peppers I'd bought at the co-op some time ago were on the verge of spoiling, so I figured it was time to try my hand at making shakshuka for dinner. Previously, I'd enjoyed Kenny Shopsin's version, but it was a little too piecemeal for me (I did check with Claudia Roden and found her version closer to Kenny's than the smooth, pureed shakshuka at Miriam), and I wanted to try to make a version that was both right up my alley AND not too difficult. I couldn't decide on a recipe, so after glancing around at eight or ten, I abandoned them all and decided to wing it.

Part of this meal's goal was also to "use stuff up", so my quantities and choices were affected by what I had in the fridge. I chopped up one red and one green pepper (all of what I had; I didn't want any extra) fairly small and threw it in a pan with some olive oil to begin to soften. Then I chopped and added some leeks (again, I had a crapload of leeks left over in the fridge from yesterday, when I made a Claudia Roden leek-and-mint salad that ended up using only half of what I bought...otherwise, I'd have used onions in the shakshuka), stirred it a bit, and then added some chopped garlic. Once everything was clearly softening, I dumped in a bowl of chopped tomatoes, skin and pulp and all (again, I had four tomatoes; they were on the verge of going bad; so, four tomatoes it was) and some salt and pepper.

I let the mixture cook down, piping in a little harissa for heat, while I poked around in the fridge for an accompaniment. I had a small quantity of bulgogi I'd made last night (nothing special, and lots missing from what would be real bulgogi; basically just hangar steak with a pureed marinade of soy sauce, sugar, veg & sesame oils, garlic, ginger, etc.), so I heated that up and sliced it. It looked like the peppers and tomatoes in the shakshuka were almost completely breaking down, so I cracked in two eggs and covered it (I had no idea if this cooking method was going to work; I'd never done it before).

Within a very short time, the eggs looked perfectly cooked--still a liquid yolk, but no runny white. I scooped them into a bowl and dropped the bulgogi slices on top.

It turned out to be excellent! I hadn't really realized it, but the bulgogi was a perfect complement to the bowl of shakshuka...almost like having beef bibimbamp in a big bowl of Korean vegetables and grains, only with an Israeli base. I think it's rare that a chance combination caused by the need to use up leftovers leads to something I'd make exactly the same way again, but in this did. Great! (apologies to Israelis and Koreans)

1 comment:

p-dogg said...

that looks and sounds delicious! i wish i could have been there to try it...