So the fella is off to a punk-rock gig, starring Johnnie Rotten. I passed on that one.
I have a night at home, alone! There was a time where I would not have been able to cope with that, but alas I look forward to it now. Plus I have fetch TV, I can watch movies!!! Telly!
The eternal question is "what do I cook".
There is, of course, the temptation to have takeaway. Living in a trendy inner suburb, I have lots of cheap, cheerful and tasty places around me. But the cost adds up, as do the calories (in the form of muffin toppage).
Cooking for one is a fraught thing. Biscuits and dip would not do. Baked beans at a pinch. Yet I always feel better, feel a bit more pampered and cared for, if I have something a bit, well, luscious. Yummy. A bit luxurious.
Hence I like to keep some interesting herbs and spices and bits and bobs in the cupboard, sumac, ras el hanout, cumin, chive, lemon, tinned tomatoes et cetera. And eggs in the fridge. Always eggs. Eggs are awesome.
I was tossing up between a Nasi Lemak from Malaymas (being an honorary Malaysian I am a purveyor of fine sambal) and a shakshuka.
Shakshuka is an Israeli baked egg type dish. It makes good use of the things I had in my cupboard. And it is delish. Just what I need on a coolish night - to warm the cockles of my heart.
So here 'tis (Serves Uno):
1 tin diced tomatoes (purists use fresh and dice them and cook them but that really defeats the purpose)
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 onion, finely diced
crushed clove of garlic
1 tsp sugar, if desired. Salt and pepper to season
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp each of paprika and cumin
Chilli powder, to taste
1/4 capsicum, finely diced
Flatbread and yoghurt/tzatziki to serve.
pop the capsicum, onion and garlic into a small frying pan, fry in olive oil till soft. Add the spices and fry to make aromatic (NB watch for chilli fume cough) and then add the tomatoes and paste. Cook till simmering. Make some little wells for the eggs and carefully crack them in. The eggs will cook on the bottom; a trick to hurry the top along a little is to put a cover over the pan, like a plate. Warm your bread, dollop some yoghurt on the top and sprinkle some parsley (I used sumac) on top.
Use a spoon and your bread to consume the lovely gloop. Eat it direct from the pan!
Some fancy cafes put Merguez sausage in. Some use chorizo. All good here.
There is a place in Jaffa, Israel, called Dr. Shakshuka. I could imagine that the food there would cure what ails you (haw haw haw).
I saw it on Yotam Ottolenghi's cooking show. Loved that show.
Have always been a bit fascinated by Israel, the history, the current issues. I'd love to go. It's on my list.
But I digress.
Do you have a fail-safe go-to recipe for one?