BRUNCH RECIPES

EGGS POACHED IN SPICY TOMATO SAUCE
Shakshuka
Serves 4 to 6
Also known as Shakshouka in the Middle East it is a staple throughout Israel, Libya, Algeria and Morocco. It is often served at breakfast but can be found any time of day. Sometimes roasted peppers are added and you can also add cooked meats like lamb or chicken.
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 small jalapeno chili, stemmed and chopped (or to taste)
1 15-ounce can garbanzos, drained and rinsed
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, preferably fire roasted
1 cup or more chicken stock or water
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
4 – 6 eggs
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon crumbled dry mint
Warm pita, for serving
Heat oil in a heavy 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic and jalapenos and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and just beginning to brown, about 6 minutes. Add garbanzos, cumin and paprika and cook for another minute or two.
Add tomatoes and 1 cup stock; reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. With a wooden spoon crush some of the beans to help thicken. Add more stock if desired. Season to your taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle feta over sauce.
Crack eggs into sauce so that eggs are evenly spaced. Cover skillet reduce heat if sauce is bubbling too frantically and cook until whites are set but yolks are runny, 6 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle shakshuka with parsley and mint and serve with pita, for dipping. Alternately eggs can be poached separately and added just before serving to heat thru.

DUTCH BABIES
Serves 4 (Makes one 12-inch or four 6-inch babies)
Baked like Yorkshire pudding or popovers, the eggy batter puffs up unbelievably!
Butter for the pan
3 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons melted butter
Lemon wedges
Confectioners’ sugar
Additionally if desired: Maple syrup, fresh berries, fruit compote
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 12-inch skillet or 4 small skillets (with ovenproof handles) or pans (you can use small pie or cake pans). Place skillet(s) or pans in the oven to heat.
In a blender add the eggs and milk and blend until light, about 1 minute. Add the flour and salt and continue blending until mixture is very smooth. Scrape down sides with a rubber spatula if necessary (turn off the blender first!). Add the melted butter and buzz in. Let rest for a few minutes. Carefully pour the batter into the hot pan(s) and bake until they are puffed and golden. Small pans will take 15 minutes or so and a large pan 20 – 25.
Squeeze lemon juice over the pancake(s), dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve at once with any additions.
JOE’S SPECIAL
Serves 4
There are many riffs on this dish, but Saveur Magazine’s James Oseland describes it best:
“Joe’s Special is one of the most odd and divine scrambles known to man. Consisting of egg, garlic, spinach, and ground beef, the dish originated in San Francisco in the 1920s, at a long-gone Italian American restaurant, New Joe’s. Later, it was the signature dish of a Bay Area chain called Original Joe’s—and a standby for countless home cooks in Northern California, including my mom. At least once a month, we ate it for dinner, and I still make it, as there are few dishes so appealing and comforting to eat.”
When I was a young man in San Francisco it was a go-to dish after a night of maybe too much “socializing”!
2 tbsp. olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
8 ounces ground beef chuck
1 (12 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry in paper towels
8 eggs, lightly beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
Crusty Italian bread, for serving
Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion; cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add chuck; cook, stirring, until browned and all moisture evaporates, about 10 minutes. Add spinach; cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add eggs; cook until eggs are cooked and mixture is slightly dry, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; sprinkle with Parmesan. Serve with bread.

Chef John Ash Educator, Chef, Cookbook Author | Wine Country Cooking
C John Ash 2021