Shakshuka

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  •  teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes with juices, coarsely chopped
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, more as needed
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, more as needed
  • 5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 6 large eggs
  •  Chopped cilantro, for serving
  •  Hot sauce, for serving

PREPARATION

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook gently until very soft, about 20 minutes. Add garlic and cook until tender, 1 to 2 minutes; stir in cumin, paprika and cayenne, and cook 1 minute. Pour in tomatoes and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; simmer until tomatoes have thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in crumbled feta.
  3. Gently crack eggs into skillet over tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until eggs are just set, 7 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with hot sauce.
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Chickpea and Artichoke Tagine

Servings: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
salt and pepper
8 oz (1 1/2 c) dried chickpeas, picked over and rinsed
2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
1 onion, halved and sliced thin
4 (2-inch) strips lemon zest
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBS paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 TBS all-purpose flour
3 c vegetable broth
1 lb carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
9 oz. frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and patted dry
1/2 c pitted kalamata olives, halved
1/2 c minced fresh cilantro

Directions:
1. Dissolve 2 TBS salt in 4 quarts water. Add chickpeas and soak at room temperature for 8 to 24 hours. Drain and rinse chickpeas.
2. Heat 1 TBS oil in pressure-cooker pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in lemon zest, garlic, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in broth, scraping up any browned bits and smoothing out any lumps. Stir in carrots, tomatoes, and their juice, and chickpeas.
3. Cook for 25 minutes: Lock lid in place and bring pot to high pressure over medium-high heat. As soon as indicator signals that pot has reached high pressure, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 25 minutes, adjusting heat as needed to maintain high pressure.
4. Quick-release pressure: Remove pot from heat. Quick-release pressure, then carefully remove lid, allowing steam to escape away from you.
5. Heat remaining 1 TBS oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add artichokes and cook until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Discard lemon zest from stew. Stir in olives, cilantro, and artichokes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle individual portions with extra oil before serving.

Variations:
Chickpea Tagine with Cauliflower and Almonds
Omit artichokes. Add 1/2 head cauliflower, cored and cut into 1-inch florets, to finished tagine and simmer until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds before serving.

Chickpea Tagine with Dried Apricots and Honey
Omit artichokes and substitute 1/2 cup pitted and halved green olives for kalamata olives. Add 1 cup chopped dried apricots and 2 TBS honey with olives.

Tips:
1. Soaking chickpeas in salt water the day before cooking them ensures that they cook through evenly and makes them less likely to burst open. Soaking also gives their skins a softer texture.
2. We build flavor by sauteing onions, garlic, and a few spices, and lemon zest. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest from the lemon in strips. avoiding the bitter white pith underneath. The zest perfumes the dish and can be easily removed before serving.
3. Since artichokes are delicate, we stir them in after cooking the chickpeas under pressure. To help bring out their flavor, we brown them first. Frozen artichokes brown more easily than canned because they are less waterlogged.

Bastilla (Moroccan Chicken Pie)

Ingredients:
For the almond sugar:
1/2 cup blanched whole almonds, toasted and cooled
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
For the filling:
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
2 tablespoons hot water
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
2 garlic cloves, cut into thin strips
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds chicken parts (about 1 whole breast, 2 thighs, and 2 legs)
1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
3 large eggs, beaten lightly
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
3 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
18 sheets (about 1 1/2 packages) phyllo (preferably Number 4 ultra-thin)
confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling
2 teaspoons ras el hanout
For the ras el hanout: (moroccan spice blend)
1/2 teaspoon aniseed
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
8 whole allspice berries
seeds from 8 cardamom pods
8 whole cloves
15 whole black peppercorns
1 stick cinnamon, broken in half
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cuminseed
a pinch dried red pepper flakes
a pinch ground mace
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

Directions:
To make the almond sugar:
In a food processor grind fine almonds, granulated sugar, and cinnamon. Almond sugar may be made 1 day ahead and kept covered in a cool dark place.

To make the filling:
In a small bowl combine saffron with hot water and let stand 10 minutes.

In a heavy 4-quart kettle sauté onion and garlic in 3 tablespoons butter over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to moderate and add ginger, ras el hanout, and pepper. Cook mixture, stirring, 3 minutes.

Add chicken parts, broth, and saffron mixture and simmer, covered, turning the chicken once, until chicken is very tender and cooked through, 25 to 35 minutes. Let chicken stand in cooking liquid off heat 30 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate, reserving cooking liquid and solids, and, when cool enough to handle, shred chicken, discarding skin and bones.

Measure reserved cooking liquid and solids and if necessary boil, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 1 3/4 cups. Reduce heat to moderate and add eggs in a stream, whisking. Cook mixture, stirring, until eggs are set, about 3 minutes. Remove kettle from heat and pour egg mixture into a coarse sieve set over a bowl. Let mixture drain undisturbed 10 minutes before discarding liquid. Transfer egg mixture to a bowl. Stir in chicken, parsley, coriander, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste and chill. Filling may be made 1 day ahead and kept chilled, covered.

Preheat oven to 425°F. and butter 2 large shallow baking pans.

In a small saucepan melt remaining 9 tablespoons butter and keep warm but not hot.

Cut phyllo sheets in half lengthwise and stack between 2 sheets wax paper. Cover wax paper sheets with a kitchen towel. On a work surface arrange a half sheet of phyllo with short side facing you and brush with melted butter. On this, layer and brush 3 more half sheets of phyllo in the same manner.

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon almond sugar on short side of phyllo nearest you to cover about 2 1/2-by 4-inch area, leaving a 1-inch border on 3 edges. Put 1/3 cup chicken mixture over almond sugar and spread out slightly. Top chicken mixture with 1 more tablespoon almond sugar and roll up filling in phyllo, folding in sides after first roll. Transfer b’stilla immediately.

Form 8 more b’stillas in the same manner with remaining phyllo, butter, almond sugar, and chicken mixture, chilling each b’stilla as it is made. B’stillas may be prepared up to this point 4 hours ahead and kept chilled, covered lightly with plastic wrap once cold.

Bake chilled b’stillas in oven until tops and ends are puffed and browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool b’stillas slightly on a rack. Sprinkle b’stillas with confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon and serve warm.

To make the ras el hanout:
In a spice grinder or cleaned coffee grinder grind fine aniseed, fennel seeds, allspice berries, cardamom seeds, cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, sesame seeds, coriander seeds, cuminseed, and red pepper flakes, In a small bowl stir together ground spice mixture, mace, ginger, and nutmeg until combine well. Ras el hanout may be stored in a tightly closed jar in a cool dark place up to 6 months. Makes about 1/4 cup.