i love love love vancouver's cafe medina for brunch (if you haven't been you should, post haste!), and my favourite breakfast item has to be the tagine. it's a savory tomato & chickpea stew over merguez sausage and topped with poached eggs. this morning, too tempted by the overcast weather and cozy fireplace, we decided to stay in and try making this at home. oh my one word: delicious.
we just jotted down the recipe on our kitchen chalkboard as we went, improvising based on what we knew was in the dish, and general flavours of moroccan cuisine. everything was added rustic-style, in order, to a deep skillet:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red bell pepper, slivered
1/2 red onion, slivered
1 tbsp garlic, chopped
1 can plum tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
pinch of chili flakes
pinch of sea salt
freshly ground pepper
1/4 preserved lemon, slivered
1/4 cup sundried moroccan olives, pitted
1/2 can chickpeas, drained
2 merguez sausages
cilantro, for garnish
so - easy. you simply heat the olive oil. add the pepper, onion & garlic & sauté over medium high heat until tender. reduce heat to medium low and add tomatoes, including juice. break up the tomatoes a little with a spoon. add cilantro, seasonings, lemon and olives. simmer for 30-45 minutes.
meanwhile, cook sausages in a cast iron skillet. once your sausages are cooked through, remove from heat, slice on an angle and return to skillet. allow edges to crisp slightly. add stew to the cast iron skillet. leave on low heat while you make eggs.
softly poach eggs - two per person. i use this tried & true method from everybody likes sandwiches. meanwhile, plate stew, remove eggs with a slotted spoon. add on top of the stew and sprinkle with chopped cilantro, a few slivers of preserved lemon and freshly ground pepper.
you can serve with a side of warm flatbread or grilled focaccia. i might add a side of roasted zucchini as well, if i was trying to stretch this into a family-style meal for a large group. as this is, it serves 2-4 people, depending on how hungry they are.