A Dish for Leap Day Dinner

Hats off to all the leap-year babies. You celebrate a birthday every year but only see it on the calendar every four years so make it a good one.

After some serious shoveling this season there better not be another reason to see that shovel come out again!

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The indoor flowers are looking good. The hibiscus has glossy, green leaves but didn’t give the usual cotton-candy-pink blooms it usually gives on dreary winter days.

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There have been several versions of a dish that popped up in the newspaper and in two recent cookbooks that were added to our kitchen collection.

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The recipe uses the idea of eggs for dinner which usually means easy and inexpensive! The dish is called shakshuka and there seem to be many versions using some combination of ingredients like eggplant or zucchini, onions, garlic, and plum tomatoes. There are also spices that can be added like chili peppers, cumin, or paprika.

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Shakshuka is traditionally served as a breakfast for a spicy start to the day in North Africa and the Middle East. You would find it served with Indian nann or another type of Middle Eastern flatbread.

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The main idea is to build a tomato sauce with whatever ingredients you want and using the sauce to hold each cracked egg to poach in the tomato sauce. The skillet is placed in the oven to finish cooking. Don’t worry if the yolk of one of the eggs breaks. It will still taste delicious.

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This recipe from Melissa Clark over at The New York Times uses crumbled bits of salty feta to melt into the rich tomato sauce.

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http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1014721-shakshuka-with-feta

The seasonings were dialed back a bit in our kitchen since the guys aren’t super-spicy eaters. We served our shakshuka over a bed of cous cous with triangles of toasted pita bread. The guys were skeptical about the eggs-for-dinner concept but the shahshuka won them over.

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These kind of eggs will be here in a few short weeks.

Tonight you have an extra night in the kitchen for the year. Shake it up and do something different.

 

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