March was Tunisian Special in Walima Cooking Club.Beautiful small oasis along the Mediterranean African coast,Tunisia has immense diversity in both food and culture.The cuisine is a pleasing potpourri of flavors influenced by the neighboring African and European cuisines.
Recipe : Tunisian Shakshouka(chakchouka)
An absolute scrumptious Egg dish,Shakshouka is a well-known breakfast meal in North Africa.Eggs are poached in a simmering sauce,with medley of vegetables.Tunisians love spice,the heat in this dish is dominated by hot harissa.For variation,eggs can be replaced with different kind of animal or plant protein or made just with vegetables like the ratatouille.
Complemented with a crusty home made bread,the whole grain french baguette was the best match.
3 Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
2 Green and red bell peppers, sliced(can use other vegetables like eggplants,potatoes and zucchini)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon Paprika
1 Medium Onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tablespoon extra virgin Olive oil
1 tablespoon Harissa
1/2 teaspoon sea salt.
4 large Organic Eggs
some fresh parsley,finely chopped
Heat the oil in a deep skillet over medium flame. Stir in the cumin seeds, paprika and cook slightly to color the oil, about 10 to 15 seconds. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent and wilted but not browned, about 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and cook for 3 to 4 minutes to reduce down a little bit. Add the peppers,harissa,1 cup water and salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add more water as needed to keep it from drying out.
Using a spoon, form four small indentations in the simmering peppers to hold the eggs. One by one, crack the eggs into a small bowl and slip each from the bowl into an indentation. Cover and simmer for another 10 minutes or so until eggs are cooked through.
Serve with crusty bread like Baguette.
Add a few olives and capers and eliminate the eggs.
Recipe :Whole grain French Baguette
2 1/2 cups of Whole wheat flour(fine ground)
1 pack rapid rise yeast,about 2 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon Extra virgin Olive oil
3/4 cup warm water
Dissolve the yeast in warm water and allow the yeast to rise and get frothy, about 10 minutes.In a large bowl combine the flour, salt and oil. Add the yeast mixture and knead until well combined and smooth.Apply some more oil on the sides of the bowl cover and allow to rise until double it size about 2-3 hours.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Punch down the air from the dough.Knead for a minute.Then divide the dough in to 4 equal portions.Roll each in to long rectangular shape place on a greased baking sheet,make deep diagonal slashes across loaves,cover with a kitchen towel and proof for another 30 minutes by allowing to rise one last time before baking
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown on top.Let cool completely before slicing with serrated knife.Great for dipping in soups and stews.Also makes hearty crusty sandwiches.