One taste for shakshuka and you'll be coming back for more!  This is our go-to fridge breakfast, lunch or dinner, our hangover cure, our meal on a dime!   For us the perfect ratio is 3 eggs.   We've garnished with cilantro too, or nothing at all.  MAKE AHEAD: Sauce can be made in full. Re-warm in frying pan and continue by adding in eggs, making it a fantastic brunch option.   

4 tbsp. (or as needed) olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp. Paprika
1 tsp. Cumin
1⁄4 tsp. crushed red chilli flakes
1 cup canned tomatoes and their juices
4-6 large eggs
5-6 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
5-6 sprigs fresh dill
Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt, as needed
Bread, for serving

  1. Thinly slice onion
  2. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat.
  3. Add olive oil, followed by onions. Season with salt, stir and allow to caramelise over medium-low heat, about 10 minutes or longer.
  4. Slice peppers, garlic & herbs.
  5. Add in peppers once onions have gained some colour and continue to cook a further 5 minutes, until softened.
  6. Add in garlic and spices and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  7. Add in canned tomatoes and simmer until concentrated, 1-2 minutes.  
  8. Reduce heat to medium low, and, using a spatula, create some space in the pan for the eggs, 4-6 wells.
  9. Add a little olive oil in each well, crack in your eggs and allow to cook until whites are opaque, about 5-6 minutes.  You may want to pop a lid on to get the whites cooked though, or use a spatula to 'scrape' any raw white into the sauce.  
  10. Using a spatula, serve up shakshuka on warm plates, garnished with chopped herb and served with warm bread.

If warm spices and one-pot meals are right up your alley, check out our full African Influence cooking class here!  One of the best bean dishes we've ever had, plus a unique take on beef stew.  Perfect for a chilly weeknight!  

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Eggplant & Tomato Braise with Feta Cheese

This was it, this was the dish that made me change my mind about eggplant!  Just a small amount of spice made a big impact!  For a complete meal serve it with some garlic bread.   We've made this recipe with both Mutti brand whole canned tomatoes and their fantastic canned cherry tomatoes.   

1 large eggplant
¼ cup sunflower oil
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp ground cumin
2 cups water, divided
1 cup good quality canned tomatoes
Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt, to taste
freshly chopped greens such as parsley and/or watercress and/or arugula, to garnish
feta cheese, to garnish

  • Trim and peel the eggplants, but leave some of the skin on.  Cut into spears by first slicing thick circles and then cutting into strips the size of your finger
  • Heat a wide heavy pot over medium heat.  When the pot is hot, add the oil and the spices and fry for just a few seconds before adding the eggplant.  Stir and toss for a couple of minutes, season with salt, and then add the first cup of water and the tomatoes. 
  • Bring to a full boil, and then add the second cup of water.  Maintain a boil over medium to medium-high heat for about 15 minutes, until sauce has reduced. 
  • Cover and cook over low heat for a further 20 minutes
  • Serve hot or room temperature, topped with feta cheese and fresh greens


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Zucchini Fritters with Lime Yogurt

The key to this is to remove the water, so although you may have a county-fair- winner-sized zucchini, these contain too much water, so just stick with a solid, medium-sized zucchini.   Feel free to double this delicious recipe!   They are best served fresh and hot, but they could be made ahead of time and re-heating in a 400F oven, on a baking sheet lined with a cooling rack.  

1 medium-sized zucchini
Salt, as needed
1/3 cup besan (chickpea) flour
1⁄4 tsp. baking powder
1⁄4 tsp. garam masala or curry powder
1⁄4 tsp. black pepper
2 tbsp. cold water
1 cup plain, whole milk yogurt
Juice & zest of 1 lime
Olive oil, as needed

Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt

  1. Julienne or grate zucchini.  
  2. Place in a bowl and lightly salt. 
  3. Set aside for a few minutes to draw water out of the zucchini.
  4. Mix together yogurt, lime zest, juice and a pinch of salt.   Refrigerate until needed 
  5. Squeeze out any water, and then gently toss with chickpea flour, baking powder, garam masala, pepper & water (start with 1 tbsp., adding more if necessary) until mixture holds together.
  6. In a preheated frying pan, add about 1⁄4 cup of olive oil.  
  7. Drop zucchini mixture into the pan by the heaping tablespoon. 
  8. Fry 3 minutes on one side, turn over, and cook a further 2 minutes on the other side, rotating your pan as you need to to evenly distribute the heat.
  9. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate or cooling rack, lightly salt and eat immediately with Lime Yogurt. 

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Greek-Inspired Quiche!

This Greek-Inspired Quiche is perfect when you want something fresh & light for dinner, or for a weekend brunch!   For a super quick meal, use a prepared crust (or use our recipe below).  The custard comes together in the blender (yes, a blender!), and feel free to swap up the fillings!   

1 prepared pie crust dough (see recipe below or store bought), rolled out into a 9"pie plate

4 eggs
1/2 cup cream
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

1⁄2 head broccoli, small florets, blanched
200 g feta cheese, cut into small cubes
2 sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
8 Kalamata olives, pitted and cut in 1⁄2

  1. Par-bake pie crust:  Preheat oven to 425F.   
  2. Top pie crust with a piece of parchment paper and pie weights (or dried beans). 
  3. Place pie crust on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove parchment paper and pie weights (save the beans to be used again if using)
  4. Return the crust to the oven and bake 2-3 minutes longer, the crust should look dry, the edges should be lightly golden and the base should not be shiny and light in colour.
  5. Allow crust to cool completely before filling.  
  6. Prepare the Custard: Thoroughly mix together all custard ingredients, using an immersion blender or blender. Set aside.
  7. Prepare the filling: blanch broccoli in boiling, salted water for 1-2 minutes.  remove and pat dry.   
  8. Fill the cooled par-baked pie shell with the broccoli, scatter with the feta cheese, sun dried tomatoes and black olives.  
  9. Top with custard and bake in 375F oven until custard is set. The custard should appear set around the outside crust and slightly jiggly in the centre, about 40 minutes.
  10. Allow to cool 20 minutes before slicing.
  11.  Quiche is good 1-2 days in the refrigerator, alternatively, wrap in plastic wrap, then foil, and freeze for up to 2 months. Ideally thaw in the refrigerator, and gently warm at 350 for 20-30 minutes before serving.


PASTRY DOUGH: (this recipe makes enough for 2 crusts, so you can have one in the freezer!) 
400g cake & pastry flour (or 3 cups)
1 tsp salt
250g cold unsalted butter (or 1 cup)
3⁄4 cup ice cold water

  1. In the bowl of a food processor pulse the flour, salt & butter until it resembles chickpeas.  
  2. Add water, and pulse until it resembles grainy parmesan cheese 
  3. Pour crumbly dough onto a work surface and bring together with your hands.  
  4. Divide the dough in half & form into discs.   Wrap and freeze one of them.  
  5. Roll the other dough and form into a pie plate.  Cover & chill for 30 minutes before parbaking.  
  6. Pulse the flour, salt and butter until they are large chickpea sizes of butter.

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Creamy Potato & Bacon Soup

Creamy Potato & Bacon Soup

Uncomplicated and quick to come together, this recip takes the stress out of deciding what's for dinner, as long as you've got a few basics kicking around your fridge.   You can definitely make this with water, but chicken stock will add in some extra body and nutrients.   Make sure you cook it enough so that some of the potatoes begin to fall apart---this is what give it some creaminess!  We avoid blending potato soup as this foolproof recipe ensures you don't end up with a gluey mess.  The bacon is just one of the many garnishes you can add to this--top with dill, green onion, diced jalapeno peppers, sour cream or cheese!

6 slices (thick) bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces 
2 tbsp. butter 
1 small onion, finely diced 
1 celery rib, finely diced 
1 large bay leaf (fresh if you can find it!) 
2lb. yellow-fleshed potatoes, peeled and diced (6-8 cups total diced potatoes) 
3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
8 cups water or chicken stock 
salt and pepper, as needed
1 cups milk or cream 

  1. Preheat your favourite soup pot over medium heat.   Fry bacon in butter until just crisp.  Remove with a slotted spoon, leaving all of the delicious fat behind.  
  2. Stir onions into fat, seasoning lightly with salt.  Sweat until soft but not brown.  Stir in celery and sweat just the same.  
  3. Stir in bay leaf, potatoes, thyme sprigs (those little leaves will fall off, and you can remove the stems later) and enough stock or water just to cover.   
  4. Bring up just to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until potatoes are nice and soft.  At this point, use a wooden spoon to 'mash' a few of the potatoes up against the side of the pot to give the soup some cohesiveness. 
  5. Turn off the heat and slowly stir in milk or cream. 
  6. Taste for seasoning, adding a few grinds of black pepper if you like, and serve garnished with the bacon and any other garnishes you like!  



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Jody's No-Bake Mac & Cheese

Unlike more traditional 'homemade macaroni & cheese' dishes, this one is not baked (read: not dry!).   You make it, and you dish it up quickly and eat it!   It's what comfort food dreams are made of.   Feel free to swap out the cheddar with other cheeses--use what you've got, all those cheese ends collecting in the bottom of your fridge drawer, leftover from last week's wine & cheese party :)

Whole milk works best, but you can use a lower fat milk as well.   

And if you really want to gild the lily, top it with a little bacon crumble made ahead of time: fry chopped bacon with a little butter, then mix in breadcrumbs and a little parmesan cheese.  Fry for another minute or so, then let cool.  You've now made a bacon crumble topper!  

Like many, this mac & cheese starts with a classic Bechamel sauce, one of the five leading sauces in French cookery.   

1/4 cup butter
1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt
3 cup milk
1⁄4 tsp ground nutmeg (optional)
Bay leaf (optional)

2 cups (8oz./250g) grated old cheddar cheese (or whatever cheese you have on hand! )
1-450g package of short pasta (rotini, shells, penne, macaroni)

Salt, as needed
Pepper, as needed

  1. Melt butter in a preheated heavy bottom pot on medium heat.
  2. Stir in flour & salt until completely combined. Whisk in milk, adding 1 cup at a time. Whisk constantly (be sure to get your whisk in the corners of the pot) until slightly thickened before adding the next cup of milk.
  3. Stir in nutmeg and bay leaf (if using). Keep warm on low heat, whisking occasionally for 5-10 minutes. Whisk in cheese off the heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Meanwhile, boil water for pasta. Season the water with salt, (the water should taste salty).
  5. Add the pasta, stirring until the water comes back to a boil. Cook the pasta until quite al dente.   
  6. Drain pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.  Stir pasta into sauce, thinning out if necessary with pasta cooking water.  
  7. Serve immediately, adding that bacon crumble if you like!  


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Mexican Fire Pit Chicken!

Mexican Fire Pit Chicken! 
Our best attempt at re-creating quite easily the best Mexican Street Food we had!  If you've got the time, marinate overnight.   

1 pkg. Achiote paste (Annatto seeds are also commonly dried and ground into spice blends and condiments like achiote paste). We used El Yucateco Achiote Red Paste, 3.5 oz.)
1⁄2 tsp. Each ground cumin, ground ancho pepper & Mexican oregano
3-4 small cloves of garlic
1⁄4 cup apple cider vinegar
1⁄2 cup orange juice (from 1 large, fresh orange)
1 whole chicken, flattened
Salt, as needed
Oil, as needed
1 lime, quartered, for serving

1.  Make chicken paste: blend together achiote paste, spices, garlic, vinegar, orange juice, a big pinch of salt and about a tablespoon of oil.

2. Place chicken in a large bowl and season generously with salt. Pour marinade over chicken.

3.Refrigerate overnight.

4. Begin grilling chicken indirectly, then directly, flipping often until nicely

charred on all sides, total time 45-60 minutes.

5. Rest and then carve. Serve with lime wedges.

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Classic Broccoli Salad (updated)

Classic Broccoli Salad (updated) 

Shopping at the market when heads of fresh, local broccoli are under $3 you're tempted to stock up, but there's only so much steamed broccoli you can eat.  Insert the classic broccoli salad.  There's a reason everyone has had it once in their life, it's delicious!   We've updated it just slightly to replace the raisins (you're welcome raisin haters) with a local Honeycrisp Apple.   We've also made the dressing with a little sour cream to tang it up and lighten it up.   Also, do not omit rinsing the onions under cold, running water.  It's a game changer!  With practice, you can whip this together in the time it takes to fry the bacon!

6 strips bacon 
1 head really fresh broccoli
1/2 large honeycrisp apple, diced 
1/3 cup salted & roasted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup grated old white cheddar cheese 
1/2 small red onion, finely diced

3-4 tbsp. white vinegar (taste and decide) 
2 tsp. sugar 
2/3 cup mayonnaise (full fat) 
1/3 cup sour cream (full fat) 
Salt & Pepper 

  1. Dice and fry bacon over medium heat until crisp. 
  2. Meanwhile, cut broccoli into small florets and place in a large mixing bowl with apple, sunflower seeds & cheese. 
  3. Place diced red onion in a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold, running water for 10-20 seconds.   Add to the bowl along with the now crisp bacon (add in some of that delicious bacon fat!). 
  4. In a small bowl whisk together vinegar and sugar until sugar is dissolved.  Whisk in mayonnaise, sour cream and a good amount of salt & pepper.  
  5. Toss dressing with broccoli etc. 
  6. Allow it all to come together in the refrigerator (the vinegar is there to soften the texture of the broccoli) for at least 30 minutes before serving.  Leftovers keep well for a couple of days.   

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Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes 
This recipe is a starting point to many things!   Snackable on their own with warm or toasty baguette, tossed with pasta & more olive oil (or bacon!), served with Burrata cheese, or as a perfect side dish to grilled steak, this is simply a reminder to make this recipe when cherry tomatoes are in abundance and at their finest.  

If you roast them and then pack them into containers and top with extra olive oil, they will keep in the refrigerator for weeks for you to use at will! 

1-2 pints Cherry Tomatoes (or 2 'tomatoes on the vine' which we picked up at ForeQuarter Butcher Shop)
1-2 cloves local garlic, thinly sliced 
3-4 sprigs thyme, leaves & stems if you like 
4-5 tbsp. olive oil 
1/2 tsp. good quality sea salt

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Slice tomatoes in half and toss with remaining ingredients.  Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 12-15 minutes.  
  3. Use as desired!   


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Mango-Cucumber Rice Noodle Salad

Mango-Cucumber Rice Noodle Salad 
Make this salad your own!   Omit or add as you like-- even try the vinaigrette on fresh, local honeydew melon garnished with toasted peanuts.  Amazing!  

1/4-cup peanuts
1 pkg. Thin rice noodles

2 tsp. chilli garlic paste (also known sambal oelik)
Juice of 2 large limes
1 tbsp. white sugar
2 tbsp. fish sauce

1 mango, peeled and julienned (ideally not too ripe) 

1 English cucumber seeds removed and cut on a bias
3-4 sprigs of mint leaves, finely sliced
3-4 sprigs of coriander (cilantro), including steps, finely chopped 


  1. Toast peanuts either in a dry frying pan and toast for a few minutes until fragrant or in the oven on a baking sheet (375- 400) for 3-4 minutes. Let cool before chopping.
  2. Soak rice noodles in hot water for 10 minutes (if necessary), then drop into boiling water until just cooked.   Check for directions on the package.   Drain and rinse with cold water for a couple  of minutes.  Set aside until ready to toss with remaining ingredients.  
  3. Whisk together dressing ingredients in a large bowl (chilli paste, lime juice, sugar and fish sauce) until sugar is dissolved. 
  4. Thinly slice mango & cucumber and finely chop herbs.   Stir in with the dressing along with the peanuts and rice noodles.  Enjoy!  

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