I doughn’t know what it is about this recipe, but I am so happy that my first forays into yeasted concoctions have been deep fried, covered in sugar and filled with dreamy deliciousness.
There’s something incredibly satisfying about kneading a dough by hand, and certainly no smell more comforting than fresh, floury products. Unfortunately I can’t eat these in any way, shape or form given my celiac disease, but I absolutely adore the process of making something that literally rises to the occasion. I am, however, curious to experiment at some stage with what will inevitably be inferior gluten free renditions, but for now, here is the unadulterated, gloriously glutinous version.
These are real-deal doughnuts: I’m unfortunately not about to accept baked versions as anything more than doughnut-shaped cakes, which are undeniably tasty in their own right, to be sure, but doughnut to try to tell me that they can compare to their yeasted, fried, sugar dusted counterparts. These really are in a league of their own, and try as I might to come up with a combination more blissfully simple than jam and custard, I’m not about to mess with what I know works.
Serving this shakshoukah was my Sunday saving grace. Without this deliciously spicy baked egg number to provide me with the satisfaction of next level stay-at-home brunching, I’m afraid the latter half of my weekend would have been vastly less fulfilling (my attempts at napping twice were pathetic at best and I cleared my Gmail inbox out of over 4,000 messages dating back to 2005). I know something must taste good when I instantly want to share it with other people – so here you are, hastily snapped iPhone photo and all. I was far too busy demolishing my plate with a voracious appetite to grab my camera and haphazardly attempt to style the dish during the glorious eating process.
I’ve never made shakshoukah before – I think something about having to do two things and open a tin of tomatoes put me off, and now I’m seriously wondering why. With a handy pair hands nearby to cut the onions so I didn’t have to do any of the crying (seriously, it’s profuse and unfortunately not at all cathartic), it was nearly as easy as simply frying up my usual bacon and eggs. Perhaps what’s put me off further is that I’ve also never had a particularly amazing rendition of what I feel is its true potential when I have ordered it out at a restaurant – the tomato never quite reduced enough, the chorizo more sausage than Spanish vehicle for salty spiciness. I went all out in preparation for this, purchasing my very own “chorizo hot piece” imported from Spain for the experience.
At the end of 2012, I went from deliberating over which protein powder to buy for weeks because I had no idea what the difference was between whey and casein, and moreover, the obviously huge effect 23g protein/serve vs. 24g, to happily eating up to three serves of the stuff on a daily basis. I would eat protein powder in shake, sludge and pancake form, multiple times a day. To be completely honest, the pancakes that I made back then were dry and borderline inedible, and not like pancakes at all.
These are a little different (read: fluffy and akin to a pancake), thanks to a few tweaks. Separating the eggs and beating the whites at room temperature is utterly essential, along with the addition of a high fat, slightly sour dairy product to make the batter lighter and fluffier. The xanthan gum is a kind of celiac rite of passage to purchase when you get diagnosed – it acts as a binder when using gluten free flours, but is also great for thickening any kind of batter or smoothie. There are so many low carb pancake recipes, perhaps most notably the crepe-type involving cream cheese and eggs. My favourite McDonald’s breakfast was always the hotcakes with whipped butter as a child, and these are it, in low carb, full fat form.