Autumn Shackshucka

Autumn Shakshouka

Since Yottam Ottolenghi praised this recipe in his book Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi (just Google for it before and after the date of publication), the world seems to have discovered a dish that has been very popular in its many different variations despite celebrity chefs (just to name a few regional variations: Spanish huevos guisados, Azerbaijani  pomidor gayganagy, and Georgian chirbuli).

He includes it again in his book Jerusalem: A Cookbook, saying that the recipe changes depending on what’s in season. Wise words: you cannot make anything tasty (well, what I consider tasty) with tomatoes during the winter. So this is the recipe with potatoes.

  • 1 large potato, cubed
  • 1 red pepper, cubed
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons tomate paste
  • 1 red chili pepper
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt and olive oil
  1. Sauté pepper, chili and potatoes until almost done over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, garlic and cumin. Keep cooking until cumin releases its aroma.
  3. Add tomato paste disolved in some water. Adjust seasoning, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Make four holes with a spoon and place one egg in each. Cover and cook to your liking.
  5. Serve with plenty of bread.
Bean Soup from Naples

Napolitean Bean Soup

I loved Naples. It is a filthy, noise city that lives perpetually in a chaos that keeps your senses awake all day long.

I bought a book on a street market that seemed a collection of home recipes put together by a housewife with the help of someone with basic word processing knowledge.  Its contents, though, are fascinating. This recipe comes from the book.

  • Butter beans
  • Chopped Garlic
  • Chopped parsley
  • Chopped basil
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  1. Soak beans overnight.
  2. Next morning, boil beans until tender. This might take from 1.5 hours to 2.5, depending on water hardness and beans.
  3. When tender, add parsley, basil, garlic, olive oil and salt. Cook for another 10 minutes.

If there is stale bread, toast it slightly, and pour soup over.

It freezes well.

Tips&Tricks: if you can get fresh butter beans, you should definitively try this dish with them.

Spanish Green Beans with Chorizo

Galician Green Beans with Chourizo

I spent several summers as a kid in the farm where my grandparents sourced chourizos for their deli. Food was simple, but it will always be among the most delicious I’ve ever tried.

Green beans were at their peak and we would start every meal, day in, day out, with large platters of boiled potatoes and beans, plates with pieces of fried pork belly and a bottle with a strong homemade vinegar to dress the vegetables. This is the dish, but using chourizos (chouriços, in Portuguese; chorizos, in Spanish) instead of pork belly.

Don’t skip this recipe because it seems simple and dull. If you use good produce, you’ll repeat more than once.

  • A bunch of green beans
  • Two medium-large potatoes
  • Chourizo sausage, on the uncured side.
  • Olive oil
  • Wine vinegar
  • Salt
  1. Cut potatoes in big cubes and gently boil in salted water for 7 minutes.
  2. Cut green beans in medium pieces and add to the pot with the courizo. Boil for another 10 minutes.
  3. Drain.
  4. Serve and dress with olive oil and vinegar.

You can add a boiled egg to each plate. It goes very well with this dish.

Tip&Tricks: Because I don’t think you can find Galician chourizo, use either Portuguese or Spanish, as less cured as you can get. They will have a much nicer texture than the dry ones and will give potatoes and nice reddish hue.

long beans and pumpkin in coconut milk

Pumpkin and Green Beans in Coconut Milk

This recipe comes from Wendy Hutton’s book “Singapore Food”, which I bought when stopping for a week in this city-state on my way to a wedding in Adelaide. I gained 4 kilos because the food was so good.

  • 6 shallots
  • 2 large red chillies
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried shrimp paste (or 4 salted anchovies)
  • 1 tablespoon soaked dried prawns (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 400 g pumpkin, cut into small cubes
  • 200 g long beans, cut up in medium pieces
  • Oil and salt
  1. Finely chop shallots and chillies.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the pot and fry shallots, chillies and shrimp paste over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the prawns, stir-fry for another couple of minutes and then add the coconut milk.
  4. Add long beans and cook for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Add pumpkin and cut for another five.
  6. Season with salt, make sure the vegetables are cooked to your liking and serve with steamed rice.

It doesn’t freeze very well.