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Menemen: Turkish Eggs

So I know I’ve been talking about these Turkish eggs on the blog for the last few months ad nauseam, but I haven’t been this obsessed with a dish in I don’t know how long.

And the funny thing is I avoided making it for like, ever, because the idea of it just didn’t appeal to me. Eggs in a tomato sauce? I’ve never eaten shakshuka or huevos rancheros because that combination of flavours is just not my bag. I’m not a huge tomato sauce kind of person (it’s taken me 20 years to come around to spaghetti bolognese and even then I’m still not entirely convinced), so I’d rather do a hollandaise or pesto or something like that.

And then one day I was chatting with a Turkish lady who works at the day care where the kids used to go – we had caught up for breakfast so she could say hi to Smalls, whom she missed. We were talking about how Smalls is such a fussy eater, but wanted eggs from the menu. The Turkish lady (let’s call her Ela) said she was a super-picky eater as a kid too, so could understand… I think she was probably still traumatised from trying to get Smalls to eat her lunch every day and ending up giving her a Vegemite sandwich week after week.

I asked her what she would eat, then, if she was picky, and after she started talking about Turkish food I was like “WHAT ARE ALL THESE THINGS AND HOW DO I MAKE THEM AND HOW FAST CAN YOU GET ME THE NEAREST BOREK?!!”

For the next half an hour she described recipes, what to use, and found me videos on YouTube to watch. And when she explained how she made menemen, the traditional Turkish egg dish, I was intrigued. I liked the idea of the pepper paste made from capsicums instead of tomato paste, which I use only when I have to. She took me to her house and gave me a big jar of her favourite pepper paste and it sparked months of Turkish food experiments, which all have been a success. I still have a jar of Turkish red lentil soup in the freezer, which I can’t wait to crack out on a cold day.

Anyway, if you feel the need to slowly saute some peppers and tomatoes with chilli and spices and then either scramble an egg in with it or fry them on top of the sauce (which is my favourite) and top with a lemony, garlicky yogurt and serve with some bread of some sort, then here, let me help you with that!

I made these flatbreads this day (enjoy the picture where I ripped half of it off to give to Smalls to try and then cut my egg and it looked like that and I needed to take a photo and … yeah.), but I’ve had it with all sorts of bread and am happy enough with all of them. Use what you have if you want!
Menemen: Turkish Eggs
Prep Time: 15 mins Cook Time: 20 mins Total Time: 35 mins Yield: 2 servings Category: Breakfast Method: Frying Cuisine: Turkish
Description

So I know I’ve been talking about these Turkish eggs on the blog for the last few months ad nauseam, but I haven’t been this obsessed with a dish in I don’t know how long.
Ingredients

4 Large eggs
chopped fresh parsley and green onion tops, to serve

sauce

1/4 cup olive oil
1 Small green capsicum/pepper, diced
1 can tomatoes (440g) (or equivalent in fresh tomatoes, peeled)
1 Medium red chilli, chopped
1/2 bunch long green onions, sliced finely (reserve the green tops for the finished dish)
2 cloves garlic (not sure if this is legit but it tastes good!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
4 tablespoons red pepper paste

yogurt sauce

1/2 cup natural yogurt
1 teaspoon sumac (optional)
1 teaspoon dried mint
clove garlic, crushed
1 pinch salt
1 Large squeeze fresh lemon juice

Instructions

Menemen:

In a large frying pan, saute the green pepper, green onions and garlic for 10 minutes or so in the olive oil over medium heat.
Add the tomatoes, salt, sugar, oregano, tomato paste and red pepper paste, and simmer until the veggies are starting to get soft.
Crack four eggs into the top of the sauce (you can make a little nest if you like but I don’t like the eggs to touch the pan as the yolks cook too fast). Put a lid on and cook over medium-low heat until the eggs are done to your liking.
Sprinkle with salt, pepper, green onion tops and parsley, and serve with bread and the yogurt sauce.

Yogurt sauce

Meanwhile, make the yogurt sauce: to yogurt, add the mint, sumac, salt, garlic and lemon and sit for a bit to enable the yogurt to reconstitute the dried mint a bit.

Keywords: turkish eggs, breakfast eggs, turkish baked eggs, menemen, shakshuka

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