The One with the Half Baked Idea
Baked eggs symbolise the best of both worlds to me, offering the possibilities of a thick, hearty winter stew as well as the drooling golden yolk of poached eggs. They make me think of crusty bread crowned in melted butter, the scent of simmering garlic tomatoes and rustic pans swollen with more food than the belly can fit. So when The Girls Who Ate The World were sent a promotional package from Beak and Sons sausages the other week, I knew exactly what I wanted to make. (Just for the record, Ange suggested sausage lollipops before I shut it down (?!). You’re welcome, internet) I’m not ashamed to admit that I order this dish at virtually every cafe and find a lot of excitement in seeing how each place interprets it so differently! Of course, this also means that I’ve had my fair share of disappointment - call me elitist but you can always taste when places use tinned tomatoes in the place of fresh ones - and so when it came time to develop a recipe, I had a brainstorm about my favourite dishes, what made them so great and what I would have tweaked.
My pan of goodness, waiting to be baked!
While there will always be a special place in my heart for chorizo (be still, my artery-clogged heart), I find that the meat is sometimes too tough for something like baked eggs, which screams comfort food to me. Meat should be fall-apart tender and juicy and Beak and Sons Tuscan Pork was exactly that, packed with fennel, parsley and parmesan cheese. It doesn’t hurt that they’re gluten free and a healthier alternative next to the more processed options at the local supermarket. It also makes us feel a little more virtuous inside, with September being Australian Organic Awareness month.
But enough nattering from me and time for a recipe and some foodporn!
400g pumpkin, diced
6 tomatoes, diced
2 onions, diced
100g danish feta
200g kale, chopped
salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
1 tsp sugar
Optional: 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp caraway seeds, 1 tsp cinnamon
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Prepare pumpkin by dousing liberally with olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook for 15mins or until cooked through in the middle.
2. Simmer diced tomatoes, onions in a pan on medium-high until soft. Add one teaspoon of sugar, salt and pepper to season. Next add chopped kale and allow to simmer, covering pan with lid.
3. To prepare sausages, Preheat frying pan to medium heat and add sausages. Use tongs to turn every 3-4 mins until just cooked through. This should take around 10-12 mins. Remove from heat and cut sausage into small coin-shaped slices. Return to pan.
4. Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius. Incorporate cooked vegetables from other saucepan into the saucepan with the sausages. Add spices and cayenne pepper. Let stew for a few minutes before adding pumpkin and crumbled fetta. Remove pan from heat and add basil and eggs.
5. Place saucepan in oven. Let cook until egg whites are just set and the yolks are still runny. This took 20 mins for me but it is best that you check every five minutes to ensure desired cooking time is met. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
I’m constantly experimenting with food and updating my recipes but I think this one is pretty spot on - it hits all the right notes in term of balancing sweet and savoury, has a great spice profile, is healthy because kale (LOL) and passed the Fussy Asian Parent test (let’s not abbreviate...!). Do have a go at making this North African dish though - shakshouka is a wonderful sharing pan (or a gluttonous feast for one) and is far easier than the local cafe would have you believe!