First David Bowie, now Alan Rickman, both legends in their own right. And those are just the public losses (anyone feeling some sense of impending doom knowing the usual Celebrity Rule of Three?).
Privately, it’s been a rough week for many people I know. Loss of loved ones. More than a few heart-wrenching health diagnoses. Job losses. Break-ups. Breakdowns.
Is this an inauspicious sign for the year to come, or are we just getting through all the tough stuff early, with the rest of the year being smooth(er) sailing? The optimist in me wants to believe in the latter.
It hasn’t been the greatest week for me either by any stretch, having experienced a few scary near misses myself. But, it’s all about perspective, and seeing how difficult things have been for those around me makes me feel incredible gratitude for how ‘decently’ things turned out on my end. To be thankful for ‘not the worst.’ It’s something.
I want to wrap so many of my favourite people in blankets right now and hold them close and tell them… well, just tell them I love them, I guess. It’s all you can really do when things fall apart. You can’t fix things, but you can be there to help them weather the storm. You can lash together like a raft and ride out the waves together. It won’t stop the storm from raging, but at least you can be a quiet presence. Together.
We already know about my love for Eggs in Purgatory and Shakshuka (or some amalgam of them both?). Eggs poached in spicy tomato sauce. Creamy, melted cheese. I mean, what’s not to love? It’s a classic hangover remedy, usually served with bread or pita for dipping and scooping.
Well, I skipped the middleman. I put the tomatoes and eggs ON the bread/pita and saved your aching soul one more step.
(As an added bonus, this makes it easier to share for those people who feel a little weird going ‘family style’ and all eating out of the same pot.)
(I am not one of those people. I am a dreaded double-dipper, when I can get away with it. I come from a spoon-sharing family. A pick-off-eachothers-plates family. When I pour a glass of water for dinner in my house, I only pour one, under the assumption that my husband and I can share ’cause duhhhh, we already share all possible cooties so why bother. Yep, I’m the worst.)
For those of you who hate cilantro, never fear, a light sprinkle of fresh parsley will also do the trick nicely here. Ditto substituting feta for goat cheese if it’s what you have on hand. Goat cheese will be a little creamier, feta a little saltier, but both work an absolute treat. Add more vegetables to the tomato mix, if you like. I experimented with adding some bell peppers, but I found the sauce too heavy and the texture curiously off-putting. Spinach or other sturdy leafy greens would be an excellent addition, but make sure to simmer your tomato sauce for an extra few minutes to simmer out the excess moisture from the leaves. No soggy crusts here!
You don’t have to be hungover to enjoy this recipe, it’ll hit the spot regardless. Warm, comforting, surprisingly light. It’s like a spicy, oozy, eggy hug from the inside out. And, let’s face it, most of us could use a hug after this week.
|Pizza in Purgatory|| |
- Pizza Dough:*
- 1⅓ cups warm water
- 2¼ tsp instant yeast
- 3¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Olive oil
- Coarse semolina (for dusting)
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 small tin good quality tomatoes
- ¼ tsp chili flakes
- ¼ tsp salt (or more, to taste)
- ½ tsp sweet paprika
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ~1/2 cup goat cheese or feta, crumbled
- 1-2 eggs
- Fresh cilantro, to garnish
- To make dough: Preheat oven to 200°F. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine water and yeast and let sit for 5 minutes until yeast has dissolved and mixture is frothy. Add in flour, sugar, salt, and olive oil; knead on a low speed for 5-10 minutes until dough has formed. It should be elastic and pull away from the sides of the bowl. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl; cover with aluminum foil, and place bowl in the oven. TURN OVEN OFF. Let the dough rise in the warm oven for about 2 hours until it has doubled in size. Divide into two balls of dough, then use one for the remainder of this recipe. (Prepare another pizza with the second ball of dough, or store in the fridge for another night.)
- Remove dough from oven, place a pizza stone or heavy baking sheet into the oven. Crank the heat on the oven up to 500 degrees. Let the stone heat for at least 30 minutes in the oven.
- Heat a glug of olive oil in a medium frying pan. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add tomatoes and bash them up with the back of a spoon. Add salt, paprika, cumin and chili flakes and simmer until reduced. We want it the texture of salsa- chunky and moist but slightly less liquid than your average 'pizza sauce.'
- Dust a flat surface with some coarse semolina and stretch out the portion of pizza dough you will be using. Take the heated pizza stone/tray out of the oven and transfer the dough directly on to it. This will cause the dough to start cooking right away, ensuring a nice and crispy crust.
- Spread tomato mixture evenly over the dough. Crack an egg or two directly on the tomato mixture and then sprinkle liberally with feta cheese. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until the edges of the dough have lightly browned and the eggs are just set (they will continue to cook after coming out of the oven so if you like a runny yolk, make sure you take the pizza out when they still have a little wiggle to them in the middle). Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve immediately.