For those nights when you get home hungry, stressed, and impatient, Hangry is here to help. Each Monday, Kendra Vaculin will share quick, exciting meals that anyone can make -- whether you're in your first apartment or feeding a hangry family.
Today: Call up some friends, poach some eggs in tomato sauce, and give everyone a spoon.
“I’m making shakshuka,” I told the friend who had come over for dinner, the one holding wine in the doorway (a guest is a good guest when they come bearing alcohol). I took the bottle from him and led him down the hall into the kitchen.
“Is that just Shake Shack in another language?” he asked, and for a moment my mind flew to a United Nations of burgers, a Summer Olympics of beef, rows and rows of toasted patriotic buns awaiting their national dressings. Trumpets. But there was a cardboard carton on the kitchen counter, and I remembered the task at hand. I shook-shacked my head, filing the idea away for later.
“No,” I said. “Tonight, we’re making glorious eggs.”
It was a New York early August night, the kind usually reserved for something much lighter, but somehow the heartiness of the sauce and grains worked. I was going on my third week in the city, still largely overwhelmed but figuring out my routines; comfort food coupled with the ease of old friends was making everything feel manageable, and even a little grand. There is nothing like people you love and runny yolks at the same time. This is why brunch is such a thing, I think.
More: From now on, make sure you do brunch right.
More friends and roommates trickled into the apartment, all of whom were offered a bowl and a big spoon. “There’s shakshuka on the stove,” I said to the last to arrive, who looked at me like I had indeed not spoken English.
“It's eggs poached in tomato sauce,” I explained. “And then we put it on grains, and...”
“BE RIGHT BACK,” he said, already halfway to the kitchen.
There was nothing left in the pan at the end of the evening, and maybe that's the best reason to make this tonight. You'd be surprised how easy cleanup is when you've licked all the bowls clean and all the wine glasses are empty.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
1 medium tomato, chopped
16 ounces marinara sauce
1 big handful of greens, chopped (I used spinach)
2 cups cooked grains (like farro, quinoa, or brown rice)
2 ounces feta, crumbled
Salt and pepper
Pinch of cayenne (optional)
See the recipe (and save and print it) here.
Photos by James Ransom