Finding a recipe that summed up Qatar for the Olympic Food Challenge proved to be tricky. I thought I was onto a winner when I discovered that the Qatari Embassy website has a food section. Sadly the Embassy's website is a poor indictment of Qatar's athletes who picked up two bronze medals* during the Olympic games.
Every link on the site led to a broken page and every google result took me back to the same home page via a different route. I was ready to throw in the towel when I came across this You Tube recipe for Shakshooka. Until that point I had never come across shakshooka but it turns out that it is not all that uncommon a dish. It seems to stem out of North Africa and has moved from country to country with every nation taking on their own twist.
With that in mind I decided to stray away from the video and come up with my own variation based on the many recipes that I found and what I happened to have in the house. I started as per the video instructions with sliced onion and immediately veered off course with half a chopped pepper. I was back on track with some fresh chopped plum tomatoes**. The vegetables bubbled away, softened and collapsed into a sauce over a low heat.
According to the You Tube recipe the eggs are mixed into the cooked sauce to create a tomatoey scrambled egg mixture. Again, I decided to ignore the recipe. I added a handful of spinach to the sauce to wilt and then broke a couple of eggs into wells in the mixture to cook. The only addition was some salt and pepper and a nice breakfast/lunch dish was born.
*Mutaz Essa Barshim in the men's high jump and Nasser Al-attiyah in the men's skeet.
**I have no problem with tinned tomatoes but while they are in season I love fresh tomatoes.