In Ross Dobson’s cookbook, Firepit Barbeque, he shares delicious and simple recipes to cook and share on an outdoor firepit barbeque. We share tips Ross’ tips for outdoor firepit cooking in our current edition of ele Magazine, The Wild Edition.
Ross uses an outdoor firepit to create this dish but you can use the stovetop if you prefer.
Chakchouka Recipe by Ross Dobson
Translating Arabic to English can be tricky, which is why, in the world of food, you often see the names of Middle Eastern dishes spelt in different ways. That’s how it is with this fabulously flavoursome dish from North Africa, also called shakshouka. I consider this the vegetarian equivalent to bacon and eggs as hangover food. The name alone makes you want to sit up and take notice.
Ingredients (Serves 12)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 ripe tomatoes, cut in half
1 small yellow capsicum (pepper), cut into strips
1 small green capsicum (pepper), cut into strips
1 small red capsicum (pepper), cut into strips
1 red onion, cut into rings
1 large red chilli, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
Chargrilled bread, to serve
Your firepit is ready to cook on after about 2 hours of burning, when the timber is charcoal black, has transformed into red hot coals about the size of golf balls, and the smoke has all but subsided. To test for heat, you should not be able to hold the palm of your hand 5–10 cm (2–4 inches) above the grill for more than 2–3 seconds. Replace the grill over the firepit and give it around 10 minutes to heat up.
Put the oil in a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, capsicums and onion and toss the vegies around to coat in the oil.
Working in batches, tumble some of the vegies over the firepit grill and spread them around so they don’t overlap. Cook for 8–10 minutes, turning often with metal tongs until they are tender and scored with grill marks. Transfer to a bowl and cook the remaining vegetables.
Sprinkle the cooked vegetables with chilli, cumin, paprika and salt and toss together. Lightly mash with a potato masher, so the tomatoes especially are well crushed. Spoon onto a heavy-based baking tray. Put the tray on the firepit grill and allow to heat up for 10 minutes. Form 4 evenly spaced little wells in the tomato mixture, then crack an egg into each one.
Cook for 8–10 minutes, just until the egg whites are firm. Sprinkle with parsley and serve hot with chargrilled bread.