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 case...it 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...