12 Expert Slow Cooker Tips You’ll Wish You Knew About Sooner

Makes to 2 to 4 servings

Prep time: 15 minutes
Finish time: 30 minutes
Slow-cook time: 6 to 8 hours
(Note: This holds well on warm through step 3 for up to 4 hours.)

Ingredients:

• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving

• 1 large red or yellow onion, sliced

• Kosher salt

• 12 ounces jarred roasted red peppers, drained and sliced (about 1 heaping cup)

• One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes

• ½ cup pitted olives, preferably kalamata

• 5 garlic cloves, chopped

• ½ teaspoon ground cumin

• ½ teaspoon ground turmeric

• ½ teaspoon smoked paprika

• ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

• 1 tablespoon schug or harissa (see note, below), plus more to taste

• Freshly ground black pepper

• 4 large eggs

• Fresh herbs, such as parsley, mint, or dill, and feta, for topping

• Pita bread, for serving

Instructions:

Warm the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, season it with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens and starts to turn golden, 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the roasted red peppers, tomatoes, and olives into a 5- to 8-quart slow cooker. With your hands, coarsely break up the tomatoes.

Add the garlic to the skillet with the onions, season with salt, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and add the cumin, turmeric, paprika, red pepper flakes, and schug. Season generously with pepper. Cook, stirring, until fragrant and combined, about 30 seconds. Using a spatula, scrape the onion mixture into the slow cooker (be sure to include the oil) and stir to combine. Season with 1 teaspoon salt. Cook on LOW until the sauce’s flavors have married and mellowed, 6 to 8 hours. (You could also cook this on HIGH for 2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours.)

Taste the sauce and add salt and more schug if you like. Turn the heat up to HIGH, cover, and wait for the edges to start bubbling slightly, about 15 minutes. Stir the sauce, then crack the eggs onto the surface of the sauce and season them with a little salt. Cover and cook for 8 to 15 more minutes, until the eggs are just set on top (which is where they cook slowest) but still jiggly. Scoop servings into bowls and drizzle with a little olive oil. Top with the herbs and feta and serve with pita on the side.

* Good to know: Schug (also spelled zhug) is a Yemenite hot sauce that’s popular in Israel. It’s tangy and hot and herbal and comes in both red and green varieties; either will work here. Look for it in your supermarket near the hummus — Sabra makes a very good jarred version. But if you can’t find it, harissa will also be excellent.

From Adventures in Slow Cooking by Sarah DiGregorio. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

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