One pot wonder with eggs

Posted on: 10th April, 2017

Category: A Flavour of West Cork

Contributor: Karen Austin

After months of almost ignoring the garden it is now demanding our attention. The grass is galloping away and the tunnels are bursting with spinach and chard. This is the spinach and chard that we grew last year, which spent the winter just lolling around in the tunnel – almost in animated suspension – it slowly kicked back into life in February and now it’s the end of March and we are picking it by the bucket load. It always makes a valiant last-ditch effort before bolting and going to seed.

The next generation of spinach and chard are already nearly two centimeters tall and almost ready to join the queue for transplanting.

Suddenly there’s so much to do, which is okay, as we’re refreshed and enthusiastic after the break, she says bravely.

The chickens have also swung back into action and even though some of them are seriously geriatric, we’re enjoying plenty of eggs.

Spinach and eggs are almost synonymous with Easter in our house and they must be in other parts of the world too because there are plenty of spinach and egg pies out there that pop up specifically for Easter.

I fiddled around with a pie idea but rejected it because it’s a recipe best shown – pastry can be tricky – instead this months’ recipe is a Shakshuka, which is a North African spicy tomato and egg dish.

This one pot wonder, which is eaten all over the Middle East in various guises, is a very accommodating recipe. I’ve stirred spinach into mine but it’s also good with feta or ricotta crumbled on top or maybe some olives or butterbeans stirred in. Either way you can tailor-make the dish to suit yourself and your family and it would make an excellent Easter brunch, lunch or light dinner. The spicing is up to you, if you don’t like spicy you can tone it down. I couldn’t resist stirring a spoonful of harissa paste into mine. One thing that is standard is some crusty bread served on the side to mop up.

Shakshuka

Ingredients:

2 onions, peeled and sliced

3 tbs olive oil

1tsp cumin seeds

1 pepper – red, green or yellow, deseeded and diced

3-4 cloves garlic – peeld and roughly chopped

1tsp sweet paprika

1 chilli or 1/4 tsp chilli flakes

1 can tomatoes

150mls water

1 tsp harissa paste – optional

a big handful of baby spinach or chopped spinach leaves

4 eggs

chopped parsley or coriander to serve

Method:

Put a medium sized skillet or frying pan on a medium heat. Add the olive oil and the cumin seeds and cook gently for a minute, then stir in the sliced onions. Cook on a medium heat until the onions begin to soften then add the diced peppers. Season with a little salt, this will help to soften the vegetables. Cook without browning for ten minutes then add the garlic. Cook for two minutes more – don’t burn the garlic – then stir in the tomatoes, water and sweet paprika. Bring everything to the boil then turn to a gentle simmer. Cook for at least 15 minutes, longer if you have the time, as the sauce will become smoother and sweeter. Season with salt and pepper. At this stage you could put the sauce aside until later and reheat when you want to proceed.

To finish the dish stir in the spinach and cook for a minute so that it wilts down then make four indentations with a spoon and crack an egg into each. Cover the pan with a lid and leave on a gentle simmer for roughly eight to ten minutes until the eggs are set. I like to eat the eggs with runny yolks but if your prefer eggs with set yolks cook a little longer.

Take the pan to the table and serve with freshly chopped herbs on top and bread on the side.

Happy Easter!

Karen

Lettercollum Kitchen Project

22 Connolly Street

Clonakilty

www.lettercollum.ie

karen@lettercollum.ie

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Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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It will be delivered by John Sheehan, senior lecturer in the Archaeology Department, UCC and a former member of the Heritage Council and the Board of the National Museum of Ireland.

The Vikings were an important presence in Ireland for over two centuries. As well as inflicting great terror they were also responsible for introducing urbanism and new economic systems to the country.

In this talk the focus will be on the economy, looking at the gold and silver hoards that were buried in Co. Cork. It will also explore how these hoards were discovered, what happened to them, and where they are now!
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