It has been a busy week. From Nebraska to Boston, I covered a fair chunk of the country in a few days and went from the serene pastures of middle America to the fun and open seas of Back Bay with a quick stopover at the pungent, noisy and crammed Madison Square Garden. Yep, a rainbow of experiences and feelings.
In my quest to understand where food comes from better, I have been following the beef trail for the last year. Earlier this week was a pit stop along the processing chain. So much learnt, preconceived notions questions, some things validated. I will be writing a full report based on my experiences so far and will keep those of you interested in how your beef is raised in the US (and abroad, given the pending TPP)!
Then it was Boston, a city I used to visit rather often when I first moved to the US, 10 years ago. And, stopped completely a few years ago. Honestly, I remembered nothing from my visits past and, so, it really was like discovering a new place. It also helped that this time, I was not impaired with the thriftiness of a new immigrant caught in the sudden headlights of exchange rates! ;-)
Anyway, more on both later when I have been able to decompress and analyse. Meanwhile, let's do the now and this recipe!
Simply put, it is a twist on the Shakshuka, with the basic ingredients of onion, garlic and tomatoes. And, then taken to the next level with fresh swiss chard and the tang from tamarind! Fried eggs on top and a sprinkle of fresh basil, it is not only soulful but decidedly unique as well! I love dishes that have a strong tradition and yet can be easily adapted to what is on hand. That is typically how people cooked. The original is always beloved but the new spins are just as exciting...
Sour Green Shakshuka
1 medium red onion, diced fine
4 ripe tomatoes, diced fine
4 cloves of garlic, smashed/minced
1 bunch of swiss chard, kale or spinach, shredded
1 T tamarind paste
1/2 cup stock
2 tsp ground cumin
aleppo pepper per spice level
lots of olive oil
handful of basil, torn
salt and pepper as needed
Heat oil in a skillet and sauté the onion and garlic until soft. Season with salt, pepper.
Add the ground cumin and aleppo pepper and toss for a minute. Sauté tomatoes into this mixture and cook on low until it disintegrates into a sauce.
Stir in the tamarind paste along with the stock and let the mixture simmer for a few minutes and then toss in the greens.
Cover and let the mixture steam in its own juices for 7-8 minutes while the greens melt and cook in the flavors.
Give it sauce a stir and spread evenly. Crack the eggs on top, sprinkle salt and pepper, turn the heat to low and let it cook for 8 minutes (for a runny yolk).
When ready, sprinkle basil on top and serve immediately.