Monday, October 7, 2013

Buttermilk Apple Cake & Chicken Pot Pie

Ah fall.  As much as I love the overwhelming bounty of summer produce, I’m never sad to say goodbye.  The change means my life will instead be filled with such delectable things as pumpkins, root vegetables, butternut squash, and apples.  It currently feels like the fall season is stretched before me with endless possibilities of braises, hearty pasta sauces, and soups.  Fall is an especially exciting time for me this year because I’ve recently become a Seahawks fan.  My new dedication to the hawks provides me with weekly platforms for cozy football meals.  In fact, this was the menu for a Thursday night football dinner with Mom and Grandpa- which I watched even though the Seahawks weren’t playing!  I’m just that committed to football. 

I initially planned to only post about the apple cake but the pot pie turned out to be far too delicious to keep to myself.  Plus I definitely want to make it again and this ensures that I don’t lose track of the recipe.  Don’t be deterred by the long list of ingredients- the soup is not as daunting as it looks.  You can also cut the list of steps and ingredients in half by using store-bought chicken stock and a cooked rotisserie chicken.  I usually buy chicken stock instead of making it...but I was still unemployed when I made this meal, so I had nothing but time.  The experience actually reminded me how much better homemade really is.  And I have now recommitted to my goal of making big batches of stock to keep in the freezer. 

from Tyler Florence
Click here to print

Serves 8-10


4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small chunks
3/4 cup ice water, plus more if needed

Chicken Broth:

1 (4 to 5 pound) free range whole chicken
3 carrots, cut in 2-inch pieces
3 celery stalks, cut in 2-inch pieces
1 onion, halved
1 head garlic, halved horizontally
2 turnips, halved
Bouquet garni: 4 fresh thyme sprigs, 2 fresh rosemary sprigs, 1 bay leaf - all tied together with
kitchen string
**For easier version: ignore this ingredient list and instead buy a cooked rotisserie chicken and use 2 quarts of chicken stock

Pot Pie:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 carrots, cut in 1/2-inch circles
1 cup pearl onions, peeled, about 3/4 pound
1 cup fresh sweet peas, about 1 pound
1 garlic clove, chopped
Leaves from 8 fresh thyme sprigs
Needles from 1 fresh rosemary sprig, chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 egg mixed with 3 tablespoons of water, for egg wash
Coarse salt
Special Equipment: Oven safe bowls


To make the pastry
: Combine the flour and salt in a very large mixing bowl. Add the butter and mix with a pastry blender or your hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pour in the ice water and work it in to bind the dough until it holds together without being too wet or sticky. Squeeze a small amount together, if it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Wrap the large ball of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate while preparing the rest of the recipe (feel free to make the dough the night before if you prefer.)

To make the chicken broth: Put the chicken in a large stockpot and cover with 3 quarts of cool water. Add the vegetables and herbs and bring it up to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour; skimming frequently as the oil rises to the surface. This cooks the chicken while also creating the base sauce for the pot pie.  Remove the chicken to a platter to cool. When it's cool enough to handle shred the chicken meat, discarding the skin and bones, and set aside. Using a colander, strain the chicken broth into another pot and discard the solids; you should have about 2 quarts when you're done.

To make the pot pie filling
: Wipe out the stockpot and put it back on the stove over medium-low heat. Melt the butter and just as the foam subsides, add the flour, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or whisk to prevent lumps. This is a roux, which will act as a thickener. Cook and stir the roux until it's the color of a California blonde. Now, gradually pour in the reserved chicken broth, whisking the entire time to prevent lumps. Whisk and simmer for 10 minutes to cook out the starchy taste of the flour and thicken the broth; it should look like cream of chicken soup. Fold in the carrots, pearl onions, peas, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and lemon juice; stir to combine. Simmer for 10 minutes to soften the vegetables a bit; season the mixture with salt and pepper. Stir in the shredded chicken until incorporated, remove from the heat and cool to room temperature; it will get quite thick as it cools down.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Take the dough out of the refrigerator and set it out on the counter for 5 minutes to warm up a bit, making it easier to roll out.

Sprinkle the counter and a rolling pin lightly with flour. Roll the dough out into a big 14 by 20-inch rectangle. Cut pieces of dough into circles that are large enough to hang over the oven-safe bowls that you use.  Distribute soup between bowls. Lightly beat the egg with 3 tablespoons of water to make an egg wash and brush onto the edges of the bowls.  Transfer the circular dough pieces onto the bowls, pressing gently on the edges.  Brush the top of the pies with the remaining egg wash, sprinkle with the coarse salt, and cut tiny slashes in the tops so steam can escape. Place the chicken pies in the oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until puffed and golden. Let the chicken pies rest for 10 minutes before eating.


Adapted from Gourmet
Click here to print

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup peeled and chopped baking apple (I used fuji)
Extra cinnamon for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.  In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about two minutes.  Add vanilla and egg and beat well.  With the mixer set to low speed, beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture.  Add half the buttermilk and continue beating on low speed until incorporated.  Scraping down sides of bowl as necessary, beat in another 1/3 of flour mixture then remaining buttermilk.  Finally, beat in the last 1/3 of the flour mixture until just combined.

Scrape batter into the cake pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.  Scatter apple pieces evenly over the top of the cake batter then sprinkle evenly with raw sugar.  Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.
This was quite yummy

Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.  Cool in the pan for ten minutes, then transfer onto a wire rack to cool until warm. Serve plain, or with whipped cream and salted caramel sauce.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Buttermilk Pancakes

It feels like summer!  And not only because the temperatures in Chelan have been in the triple digits.  Last Sunday I took a much needed mental health day and didn’t do anything bar-related.  I kept all Barbri books shoved under the coffee table and didn’t even turn on my computer (except at the end of the day to watch Newsroom).  In case that wasn’t enough, I also convinced mom and dad to take a boat trip up-lake so I was even outside of cell service for most of the day.  Lake Chelan is 55 miles long and in my 22 summers here I had never been to the other end.  This seemed like an opportune time to take care of that oversight, so we quickly stocked the boat with sandwiches, chocolate, and wine (aka the essentials), and set out on our journey. 

I spent most of the ride up taking pictures of beautiful waterfalls and snow-topped peaks.  The landscape changes drastically as the lake meanders into the mountains so there was quite a lot to capture.  Once we reached Stehekin, the town at the remote end of the lake, we walked two miles to reach a quaint bakery in the woods.  Along the way we encountered charming cabins, a miniature Spanish Galleon ship, and an enthusiastic farmer named Carl.  We hit some choppy conditions on the boat ride home which gave me a chance to watch the waves while contemplating the important things in life. All in all, very restorative.   I've included a photo essay of the adventure:
This is where we stopped for lunch
We've arrived!
The Lady of the Lake makes the trip to Stehekin each day

End of the lake
Walking to the bakery

Lovely Garden/Farm with delicious herb goat cheese

Here are some adorable cabins:


It also feels like summer because I made pancakes.  I’ve cooked quite a few meals in this kitchen over the years, but pancakes are quite definitely my signature Chelan/summer dish.  When all of the cousins visit, I spend mornings over the griddle while people place their orders; I take requests for chocolate chip, blueberry, raspberry, or any combination thereof.  The cooking cycle of pancakes ensures I have a constant stream of company in the kitchen. 

I have been honing my recipe for the perfect buttermilk pancakes for some time now, and this is the latest iteration in that quest.  Please stay tuned for future discoveries and adjustments.  You know I never tire of posting about pancakes.

makes 4 servings
Click here to print

9 oz. (2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted; more for serving
2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
Vegetable oil for the griddle
Pure maple syrup for serving

Mix together dry ingredients.  Add melted butter, buttermilk, and eggs, and stir with a large spoon until everything is just combined.  Do NOT over-mix or you will end up with dense little discs.  The batter should be lumpy. 

Heat a large skillet over medium heat (preferably cast iron) and cook the pancakes over a light coating of vegetable oil.  Then smother with butter and syrup and enjoy!

Happy 4th of July!!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Pear & Almond Oatmeal

Hello friends. Long time.  Here is my quick update: law school is over; I no longer live in Boston; and I am currently in Chelan studying for the bar exam. 

Life in Chelan is simple.  I have found a rhythm to my studying that is almost (almost) enjoyable.   I dreaded bar-studying for so long that I had pretty low expectations for my level of happiness over these eight weeks.  All said, things certainly could be worse.   Maybe I will even look back on this time fondly; remembering my morning walks with mom, weekends golfing with dad, and evenings filled with wine and episodes of Newsroom (SO good).

 Another lovely silver lining that accompanies life in Chelan is that delicious and healthful meals magically appear before me while I study.  Mom loves oatmeal so we eat it most mornings.  In addition to being healthy brain food it is also an incredibly versatile meal that we rarely tire of.  Our basic canvas always consists of steel-cut thick oats cooked in milk (not water!) with a generous heap of cinnamon.  I guarantee it will make your kitchen smell like holiday baking and happiness.

Our options for add-ins shift depending on season and location.  In Chelan, we take advantage of summer berries and usually pair them with toasted walnuts or pecans.  In Maui we use mangoes- I know, I was skeptical at first too, but it creates a decadent consistency that is reminiscent of a peach crisp with streusel topping.  In the winter, when access to fresh and local fruit is more limited, we use things like apples and pears.  I came up with this particular combination a few months ago when I was still in Boston, drawing inspiration from the French classic: tarte amandine aux poires.  I think it is a delicious way to get the flavors of an almond tart sans calories.

My recipe makes four servings but you mathematic masters can easily cut it in half or quarters to adjust.  When I am in real life (read: when mom is not cooking all of my meals), I usually make a big batch of oatmeal at the beginning of the week and keep it in the fridge.  The primary benefits of this practice are: (1) you save time on subsequent mornings; and (2) your life is infinitely more pleasant because you only have to scrub the oatmeal off of your pot once a week.  This is a nice compromise for those of you who might be tempted to make the instant stuff. 

I am hoping that this post will jumpstart my summer blogging.  I’m sure things will get crazier as the bar approaches (7/30 and 7/31 for those of you keeping score), but this will provide my life with some balance and I have a backlog of recipes that I have been wanting to share!


makes 4 servings

Click here to print

4 cups nonfat milk
2 cups thick steel-cut oats
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 pear, chopped

Combine milk, oats, cinnamon, and almond extract in a large pot over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to keep milk from boiling over.  Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring often, until oatmeal is tender.  Remove from heat and stir in pear and almonds.  Serve with an extra sprinkle of cinnamon.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Buckwheat Blini with Smoked Salmon

I ate incredibly well during my semester abroad in Paris.  So well, in fact, that I am amazed my jeans still fit by the end (I may or may not have eaten pain au chocolat on a daily basis).  I think my waistline was saved by two very important things: all of the walking I did while exploring my adopted city, and my French host mom’s cooking. 

Her meals struck the perfect balance between indulgence and moderation that only the French seem to manage with such ease.  Each meal commenced with a pureed vegetable soup to awaken our taste buds, then progressed to a delicious entree, and always concluded with a few morsels of pungent cheese and a small bowl of yogurt.  These three distinct courses set a relaxed pace for eating while simultaneously allowing for lengthy conversations (that I tried my very best to follow).  Each night I left the table feeling incredibly content but never uncomfortably full. 

But sometimes even the French can’t muster this level of sophistication.  One evening my host parents went to a party, leaving my fourteen-year-old host brother and me to fend for ourselves.  Based on my American conception of dinner sans parents, I expected we would probably dine on something in the genre of boxed macaroni and cheese and bagel bites.  But instead of taking a pre-packaged meal from the freezer, my host brother extracted four frozen blini and popped them in the toaster.  He then set the table with crème fraîche (a French pantry staple), smoked salmon, and a bag of minced chives.  The blini emerged from the toaster perfectly crispy, and we sat down to feast. 

The dinner changed my life not only because it introduced me to smoked salmon, but also because it completely shifted my understanding of the exciting and elegant possibilities for a quick meal.  This recipe that I am sharing took a bit longer to come together since I made the blini from scratch today, but now I have eight leftover blini in my freezer ready for future use! 


click here to print

1 teaspoon dried yeast
¾ cup plain (all purpose) flour
¾ cup buckwheat flour
1 egg, separated
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup lukewarm buttermilk

1 4-ounce package of thinly sliced smoked salmon
1 cup crème fraîche
½ cup minced chives

Combine yeast and ¾ cup warm water in a large bowl and stir to dissolve, then stand in a warm place for 10 minutes or until foamy. Slowly whisk in plain flour, then cover with a clean tea towel and stand in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Meanwhile, in a separate bowl combine buckwheat flour, egg yolk, 1½ tablespoons melted butter, sugar, milk and sea salt and whisk to combine, then gently fold into yeast mixture. Cover and stand in a warm place for 1 hour or until risen by half.

Whisk egg white until soft peaks form and fold through batter. Heat a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat, brush with remaining butter and cook batter, in batches, for 1-2 minutes or until bubbles appear, then turn and cook for another minute or until cooked through. Keep warm.

Top with smoked salmon, a dollop of crème fraîche and chives.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Blueberry Streusel Cake

I made this cake last Monday for a potluck brunch that my friend Laura hosted in honor of the Boston Marathon.  Her apartment is ideally located at the top of the challenging (and daunting) heartbreak hill, so we gathered there to lend our vocal support/enthusiasm to the runners.  Everyone contributed a ridiculous amount of delicious food (see crowded table pic below) and Laura made amazing bellinis with freshly squeezed peaches.  We feasted and chatted and then we spent hours cheering on runners, including our friend Kim- a first time marathoner!  It was the perfect morning with wonderful friends.

Given the fear and pain generated by the bombings, I feel very lucky to have those positive memories from the day.  I’ve really loved watching the marathon these past three years that I have been in Boston for law school.  For me it has always been about celebrating with friends and cheering for runners until my throat hurts and I lose my voice.  Since I’m moving to Seattle soon, I probably won’t be able to make it to next year’s marathon.  But when Patriot’s day rolls around again I can guarantee that I will be cheering extra loudly from across the country.

If you would like to make a contribution to victims of the bombing, please consider donating to the medical expenses for the two Boston College students who were seriously injured in the blasts.  Here are the links to the pages supporting Brittany and Liza.

serves 6-8
Click here to print
from Gourmet Magazine

For streusel topping:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

For cake:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 lb blueberries (3 1/4 cups)

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Line bottom and sides of a 9-inch square baking pan with heavy-duty foil, leaving an overhang on 2 sides. Butter bottom and sides of pan, then dust with flour, knocking out excess.

Make streusel topping:
Stir together flour, sugars, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture forms large clumps.

Make cake:
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
Stir together sour cream and vanilla in a small bowl.

Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add egg and beat until well blended.

At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with sour-cream mixture and mixing until just combined.  Gently fold in blueberries.  Spoon batter into pan, smoothing top (preferably with an offset spatula). Crumble half of topping evenly over batter.

Bake 25 minutes, then remove from oven and crumble remaining topping evenly over cake. Bake until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes more. Cool in pan 40 minutes. Lift out cake using foil and cool completely on rack.

Cake can be made 1 day ahead and kept, well wrapped in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Nutella Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Before I reveal the secret to gooey nutella deliciousness, I want to thank Sarah for her guest post!  In addition to being one of my most loyal readers, Sarah also bore witness to (and supported) my first forays into the culinary world when we lived together in college.  I’m so happy that she agreed to share shakshuka with you all!

Now for the cookies: a post that has completed an epic journey to get here today.  You see, I first made these cookies last September 27th with every intention of posting them in honor of my 3-year blogiversary.  I brought them to school to share with friends and we celebrated...but I never told you about it because tragedy struck and I couldn’t get my camera to work.  I was poised for quite a successful photo shoot: the cookies tasted amazing; they had fallen beautifully onto the plate in an effortlessly perfect display; and I had even timed the pictures to take advantage of ideal natural light.  But when I clicked the button, NOTHING CLICKED. 

I had just returned from Europe where I lugged my camera everywhere so I immediately concluded/panicked that it was destroyed.  I tried taking pictures on my iphone, which I suppose was fitting for my blogiversary since that was my original method of documentation back when I started blogging...but my photography standards have risen somewhat since then and I was just not happy with any of the photos.  So instead I retreated into my six-month hiatus from blogging and this recipe gathered dust.

Luckily dad saved my camera and I made my triumphant return to blogging.  I immediately arranged a new photo shoot for these cookies (it was such a hardship to have to make them again) and I was very happy with the pictures.  Then we encountered my second big delay: I went to Maui for two weeks and got lazy about blogging.  Oops.  This is why I am very thankful to Sarah for writing a post and jump-starting me back to Navy Blue Kitchen!  I have a backlog of other meals and pictures to share (including a post about Maui!) but I decided to prioritize this recipe.  Because you shouldn’t have to spend one more day of your life without nutella oozing from the middle of chocolate chip cookies.

inspired by Jacques Torres
Click here to print 
makes about 25 cookies

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons
(8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)
Sea salt.

Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.  Put the nutella in the refrigerator at least two hours before assembling cookies so that it will be easier to work with.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

Scoop about 1/3 cup of dough and flatten in your hand.  Put about a teaspoon of nutella in the middle of the dough and then roll it in your hand to form the cookie into a ball.  Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Shakshuka [Sarah's Guest Post!]

I was irrationally excited when Emily invited me to write this guest post for her blog. I love Em’s blog, and I am so excited to share this recipe for shakshuka! It is easily my #1 go-to dinner, and there are so many reasons why you should try it. Most importantly it is DELICIOUS. Beyond that, it is healthy, easy to make (only 30ish minutes!), vegetarian if that’s your thing, and it minimizes clean-up time because you can wash most of the dishes while it’s simmering.

I originally got this recipe from food blog titan Smitten Kitchen, which describes shakshuka as an Israeli dish of poached eggs in spicy tomato sauce. Others think the origins of shakshuka are Lebanese. Wherever it comes from, all experts agree that you should make it immediately. Thanks again Emily for asking me to post!

Here are a few things to keep in mind before making shakshuka:
  • Shakshuka is saucy, so serve it in a bowl rather than a plate.
  • The Smitten Kitchen recipe suggests serving it with pitas, but since the pitas you can buy at the grocery store are not puffy, I’ve always served it with crusty bread instead. I think you need the fluff for dipping and mopping up the spicy sauce. If you are ambitious you could bake your own bread (ahem, Emily), or you could just pick up your favorite crusty, fluffy bread at the store. If you want, warm it in the oven while the shakshuka is cooking.
  • Sometimes your shakshuka will be spicy and sometimes it won’t be. There’s just no way to tell if a jalapeno is spicy by looking at it, as far as I know.
  • If you are planning to save some for leftovers (which I HIGHLY recommend - best lunch ever), make sure you don’t overcook the eggs, unless you’re weirded out by runny eggs. If they are more cooked the first time, when you heat it up the second day the eggs can sometimes get a little bit overcooked. You could also avoid putting in all 6 eggs initially and just poach them in already-cooked sauce the following day, but that sort of defeats the purpose of being able to have a quick, portable lunch (of paramount importance to those of us in law school, and really, everyone).

Click here to print
serves 4-6 (in my experience, serves 2 for both a hearty dinner and a light lunch the next day)

¼ cup olive oil
3 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped (leave some seeds in for more spicy potential)
1 small yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed and sliced
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 28-oz can whole tomatoes, do NOT drain (I usually use Muir Glen organic)
6 large eggs
Kosher salt to taste
½ cup feta, crumbled (I just dump in however much I feel like)
1-2 tablespoons chopped parsley (flat leaf or curley is fine)*

*About the parsley - I actually think it adds a lot of freshness to this dish, whereas in others it’s just a garnish and doesn’t make much of a difference. I’ve forgotten it plenty of times and it’s always better when I include it.

Chop the onion and stem, seed and finely chop the jalapenos. Heat oil in a large pot or 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the jalapenos and the onion and stir until the onion starts to brown, about 6 minutes. While the onion and jalapenos cook, prepare the garlic and tomatoes as follows.

Crush and slice the garlic. Open the canned tomatoes and pour them into a bowl. Then add ½ cup water to the bowl and crush the tomatoes with your hands.  Be careful! This can easily stain your clothes. I recommend putting the bowl in the sink so any juices that spurt just end up in the sink. Put the tomatoes aside.

Once the onion has started to brown, add the garlic, paprika and cumin. Stir it around a lot and smell it, because it smells amazing. Cook and stir for about 2 minutes, until the garlic is soft.

Add the tomatoes with their juice and the ½ cup water. Stir and lower heat to medium. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes. (This is a great time to clean some dishes, make a salad, set the table, etc). Chop up some parsley, and get out your eggs. Season the sauce with salt to taste.

Crack eggs over the surface of the sauce so they are evenly distributed (usually a circle of 5 with 1 egg in the middle). Cover the skillet and cook about 5-6 minutes, until the yolks of the eggs are set. If you don’t have a tight fitting lid, use aluminum foil - it may take longer for the eggs to cook because some air is escaping. Use a spoon to swirl the whites around with the sauce, without disrupting the yolks. Sprinkle parsley and feta into the shakshuka. Serve in bowls with crusty bread or fluffy pitas!