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Author Notes: What better snack is there than a sandwich? Casse-croûte means just that: to have a snack. Walk out of any home or shop in Tunisia and you will have no problem locating a restaurant or food cart selling these satisfying sandwiches. —Our Tunisian Table
- 1 baguette
- 4-6 baby cucumbers
- 1 large tomato
- 1/2 white or red onion
- 1 can of good tuna, preferably yellowfin
- olive oil
- 2 russet potatoes
- vegetable oil, for frying
- 3 eggs
- capers, optional
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a medium sized saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add the eggs and cook on medium high for 7 minutes. Drain and let cool before peeling and slicing width-wise. (Tip: using the tip of a sharp knife, puncture a very small hole on top of the eggs penetrating just the outer shell. This ensures an evenly cooked, brightly colored egg). Note: Casse-croûte can also be made with fried eggs instead of hard boiled. To do this, simply crack your eggs in a frying pan with a little oil heated between medium and medium high. Add salt and black pepper. Once the outer white and inner white of the eggs have set, flip the eggs gently. Cook for about 30 seconds to one minute, just until the other side has seared for a runny egg. (Leave for longer if you prefer a harder yolk.) Set aside on a plate until ready to assemble the casse-croûte.
- Peel the potatoes and slice them into standard “french fry” sized pieces. Heat vegetable oil in a frying pan and add potatoes, turning them over when golden. Remove from pan and place on a paper-towel lined plate to absorb the excess oil. Salt them while they are still hot. (Tip: there are a few ways to test if the oil is ready for frying: Use a heat-safe thermometer, ideal temperature for frying is 375 degrees. Or, use one of the french fries to test the oil, if it starts to sizzle and bubble, it’s ready. One other trick is using the end of a wooden spoon, if bubbles form around it, you are ready to begin frying. Also, do not overcrowd the pan as the potatoes will not fry evenly; they may have to be done in batches.)
- In the meantime, make your Tunisian salad. Chop the baby cucumbers, tomato, and onion and mix in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add a pinch of salt, a generous amount of ground black pepper, and let sit.
- Take baguette and slice down the middle (length-wise) stopping before you’ve cut off the entire top half. Spread as much (or as little) harissa as you’d like on both sides of the bread. Spoon the Tunisian salad on the bottom half of the baguette, distribute the tuna evenly on top of the salad, then place the sliced egg. If you’d like, add french fries and/or capers to the sandwich and place the top half in place. Serve with olives. Enjoy ☺