Gordon Ramsay’s North African eggs
‘You really like eggs,’ said my husband.
I was about to start boiling one for breakfast. As I had for 3 days in a row. ‘There’s nothing wrong with eating an egg every single day if you want to,’ I replied in my I’m-a-health-writer-so-I-know voice.
Eggs are one of those foods that have been in and out of fashion. Fattening. High cholesterol. Allergies. OK as long as you only eat the whites (eww).
Well, eggs are a perfect source of protein and they contain vitamins and other antioxidants. They are possibly more nutritious than they were in the bad old low-fat 80s and 90s as the quality of chicken feed has improved. And I don’t like oat-y, muesli, fruity type weekday breakfasts half as much as a boiled egg on toast with avocado (behaving myself) or butter & Vegemite (indulging myself).
Being on holiday, as I vaguely remember I was at the beginning of the year, means more time for fancy egg breakfasts. And this one from Gordon Ramsay is a delicious take on the currently oh-so fashionable North African eggs.
North African eggs for breakfast
1 onion, peeled and diced
1 red pepper, deseeded and diced (I always grill and skin peppers because I prefer the texture)
1 green pepper, ditto (didn’t bother)
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped (or a sprinkle of chilli flakes)
2 sliced garlic cloves
1 tsp cumin seeds
5 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped (ditto, I always skin and deseed tomatoes)
sea salt and black pepper
Heat a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Add a dash of olive oil and sweat onion until soft. Add peppers and continue to sweat for 5 mins, then add garlic and chilli and fry for 1-2 mins until soft and tender. Add cumin and fry for 1 min. Add tomatoes, season and cook for 20 mins until they have completely collapsed. The mixture should be the consistency of a thick sauce, so add water if the tomatoes don’t yield enough liquid. Taste to adjust seasoning.
Make 4 wells in the tomato mixture and break an egg into each. Cover the pan and cook gently over a low-medium heat for 5-6 mins until the white is set. Longer if you like your yolks to be set as well, as I do. Serve sprinkled with coriander leaves and crusty bread. Gordon suggests spring onion as well, but I don’t like raw onion.
So delicious. The red peppers add a silky sweetness and the chilli intensifies the flavours. We added spinach to ours. If you were that way inclined, you could add pancetta with the onions.
It’s one of those special holiday pleasures, smelling a slow-cooked breakfast as it prepares and then eating it slowly, reading the papers. But this would be just as welcoming for supper. Eggs are like that. You can eat them at every meal as often as you like. Take it from me, I’m a health writer.