Masters of Israeli Cuisine.

Did you ever have as a kid eggs for dinner on Sunday night because your mom was ick of cooking the past week, or have it as a meal once a week so she could kind of have a night off? Greg often likes to make omelettes for lunch on Sunday, and I don’t know what it is, like I’ve hit a form of saturation point, that I just can’t eat them anymore. But I think I found a new favourite egg dish that I could probably eat every day for the rest of forever.

To say we ate a lot of food in Israel is an understatement. I mean, a week after our trip and people are still passing comments on how fat they got by just looking at our pictures and how much they loved the eating tour. I think my favourite meal was ironically on our last day at Cafe Greg.

Breakfast at Cafe Greg, anyone?

A photo posted by Lee-Ann Lipman Gelb (@leelipman89) on

I’d gone expecting to get something breakfast like. You know, Muesli and some yoghurt. Maybe some fruit added in to the mix. But there I saw Shakshuka on the menu and my heart was gripped by it. Shakshuka is a tomato and egg dish, typical of Israel. I think the only time I’d really had it was on my gap year. I’d never have thought to go out and eat it at a restaurant. By choice. Oh goodness, what a great choice.

Accompanied with our breakfast we found another love. Fresh limonana juice. Again, this is a drink typical to Israel. I’d say it’s a typically Israeli flavoured drink made of lemon juice and mint. You get it bought, or fresh in the markets, or even in a concentrate. But that morning, it was in shlushy form. Cool, icy, and ridiculously refreshing. I swore to Greg that we’d try make each of these (after he told me to just go and google how to). So I did.

And yesterday, we cooked and ate. It’s like our holiday never ended.

Shakshuka:

Delicious home made shakshuka.

A photo posted by Lee-Ann Lipman Gelb (@leelipman89) on

This recipe is taken off the following link, but I kinda did it from memory and hence didn’t add any of the cool spices or greens. I should have. Also it’s hard because Greg doesn’t like spicy things, so chilli is out. Next time maybe I’ll follow this recipe more closely. I also used 2 tins of Rhodes tomatoes with origanum and basil, because I know I like the taste of those and not of *actual* tomatoes.   I also wasn’t sure if the egg was ready, so left it on a few more minutes, resulting in fully cooked yolks. Not my favourite, but it was a heads up for next time.

Recreating our breakfast at Cafe Greg: shakshuka, fresh orange juice and a loaf of bread (or rather, leftover challah).

A photo posted by Lee-Ann Lipman Gelb (@leelipman89) on

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 – 1 chile pepper (or to taste), stemmed, sliced in half and deseeded, finely diced/minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika, smoked or sweet
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed, or 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 pounds (1kg) ripe tomatoes, cored and diced, or two 14-ounce cans of diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon red wine or cider vinegar
  • 1 cup (20g) loosely packed greens, such as radish greens, watercress, kale, Swiss chard, or spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 4 ounces (about 1 cup, 115g) feta cheese, cut in generous, bite-sized cubes
  • 4 to 6 eggs
  1. In a pan fry up your onions and garlic until they’re soft, and then add your spices. Mix them up until everything is nice and fragrant.
  2. Add your tinned tomatoes and let them simmer until the sauce thickens.
  3. Make a little well in the tomato mixture and crack an egg into it. Keep doing this for as many eggs as you want. Sprinkles over some feta. Cover the pan and let the eggs cook til they’re done to your liking (I like soft runny eggs. Yum)
  4. Serve with yummy bread. We used leftover Za-atar and sweet paprika challah from shabbos. Oh, and Greg made freshly squeezed orange juice.

Limonana

Fresh limonana. We are just masters of Israeli cuisine today!

A photo posted by Lee-Ann Lipman Gelb (@leelipman89) on

This was Greg’s baby. which we found on this website. He by mistake added 1 cup of sugar instead of 1/2, so we found it a bit sweet. Nothing adding more water couldn’t fix. I also think it wasn’t slushy enough, (ie it was a little watery) so maybe we shouldn’t have zjoozjed it so much in the blender. Either way – MAKE THIS! Your taste buds will thank you.

  • 1/2 cup sugar (or more to taste)
  • 1 3/4 cups water (divided)
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 1/2 cups ice
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 6 mint sprigs for garnish (optional)
  1. Combine 1 cup of water and the sugar (1/2 a cup, remember) in a pan on the stove and heat until the sugar dissolves. Take off the stove and wait for it to reach room temperature.
  2. In a blender, combine the sugar water, fresh lemon juice, ice, fresh mint leaves and 3/4 cup of water.
  3. Pulse through until it becomes delicious and slushy. Taste and see if it needs more sugar/more water. Zjoozj again.
  4. Pour, garnish and serve!

There were two incredibly easy things to make. And may I add, delicious. I really recommend you give them a try!

Have you ever tried to recreate a favourite dish you once had overseas or in a fancy restaurant? How did it go? Let me know.

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