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Israeli Breakfast

Erez Komarovsky

Lesson time 21 min

Erez teaches his quintessential Israeli breakfast: fiery-hot Shakshuka, alongside a fire-roasted eggplant salad and refreshing cucumber salad, served beside his beloved Challah bread.

Students give this lesson an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

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(upbeat music) – Hello Hello. (upbeat music) I grow my own veggies. This is my Israeli heritage, fresh and simple. I cooked from the age of 16, I think. I knew exactly what I want to do, and it was chopping tomatoes and put them in a pan with the olive oil and garlic, and really that’s enough for me. (upbeat music) (jazz music) This morning, I woke up at four o’clock in the morning and I decided that I’m going to do challah bread. So we have a freshly baked challah bread, is going to be out of the oven in around 15 minutes. And in the meantime, we are going to do shakshuka, because shakshuka is the quintessential Israeli breakfast. (upbeat music) First, we’re going to warm up the pan. (upbeat music) And peel one onion. (upbeat music) Shakshuka is kind of a tomato sauce with tons of chilies and garlic. And it come from Tripoli, we love it and it’s very common here in Israel. And personally, I am addicted to shakshuka during a Shabbat morning. (upbeat music) We need some garlic. For the garlic, I need my three shekels knife. I love garlic and tomatoes love garlic. And summer time in Israel, we use a lot of garlic after the spring time when we take it out of the earth. I grew tons of garlic this year. (chopping) I just slice it and I take the chili pepper. You can use the jalapeno, you can use the red Serrano. This is our local one. It’s bigger and it’s less pungent than the Serrano. And then we’re going to use two. (chopping) I’m going to chop it up a little bit. (chopping) You’ll see that I use the chili with the seeds, because I want it to be hot. (chopping) (upbeat music) First, we put the onion and the chili, (sizzling) without the garlic and without the oil. (upbeat music) And then we’re going to put the oil. (sizzling) We put a generous amount of oil. (sizzling) In the meantime, while it’s cooking on low flame, I take the ripest tomatoes, (upbeat music) A nice amount. (upbeat music) I mix a few kinds of tomatoes, so we’ll have more flavor in our shakshuka. Remember, use the ripest ones. (upbeat music) So now I’m going to dice it. In Israel we have tons of tomatoes. This is Roma tomatoes. This is what we call Baladi tomato is our own local heirloom tomato. And this we call it En Gedi, it comes from near the Dead Sea. (upbeat music) The more sweet those tomatoes are, the best the shakshuka will be. (upbeat music) You want to start with fresh tomatoes. You do not use concentrate tomatoes or jarred veggies, never. (upbeat music) Okay. Think it’s enough. And now we’re going to add the garlic to the onions. (sizzling) So now the garlic is open, but I don’t want it to burn. We are adding all the tomatoes. (upbeat music) Now high flame. We’re going to take salt and Sudanese peppers. It’s those little birds eye dry chili. Three is enough. We’re just going to crush them inside. And after you crush them inside, you don’t want to rub your eyes. So I’m going to clean my hands. (sizzling) And while this is going to cook, we’re going to char the eggplant on the direct flame because later on, we’re going to do a salad out of it. (upbeat music) The most important thing is to see which eggplant is lighter because the lighter they are, the less seeds there will be inside the eggplant. The less seeds, the less bitter the eggplant will be. (sizzling) Okay. (upbeat music) Very high flame on both, tomatoes and eggplant. (upbeat music) Shakshuka means, shake it, shake it, shake it. So you shake the tomato sauce ’til it’s ready. (upbeat music) Now, the tomatoes are collapsing into themselves, melting down, and creating this beautiful sauce, that I’m going to taste later to see if it’s hot enough, it has to be very hot, very hot. (upbeat music) Now we’re going to do a beautiful cucumber salad. (upbeat music) I want to show you some of the cucumbers that we have here. Okay? Those are the Persian cucumber. This is fakus, it’s called Armenian cucumber and it’s very crunchy and tasty. This is and this is what we call the Beladi cucumbers, okay? Now, I’m going to take the peeler. I’m going to peel only the Armenian cucumber, When the skin is too thick, we peel it. But usually, I prefer to leave the skin on, ’cause it gives us a little texture and all the vitamins and minerals are in there. (upbeat music) I’m going to peel also the bajir (upbeat music) We take off the ends of the cucumbers and we cut each type of cucumber in a different way. (upbeat music) With the baby cucumbers and the baby Persian, I use the skin. (upbeat music) Let’s cut the bajir now. (upbeat music) This is a melon, and the melon and the cucumber is the same family. And this is so crunchy, (upbeat music) it’s crunchier than the cucumber. (upbeat music) Then this I will slice. (upbeat music) Let’s take some lemons and salt, and we’re going to add some beautiful fennel flowers. If you don’t have fennel flowers, and because it’s not the season, you can use fennel seeds that you crush, or you could use dill flowers, but this gives it a beautiful aroma. And this is what we call habaq. It’s wild mint. It has the odor, wow, to die for. If you don’t have wild mint, you live in a wrong place, but if you don’t want to move, you can buy regular mint and it’s going to be just fine. (sprinkling) Salt. And, I’m going to add some olive oil. I’m going to put some green chili. Serrano will be the best here. (chopping) And I’m going to leave them like this, I’m not going to chop them. So people can see them and if they don’t like this too hot, they can omit it. Wow. (upbeat music) And now we’re going to put some labneh cheese, that we made balls out of it, and we put it in olive oil. This is a wonderful way to preserve the yogurt. When we have tons of yogurt, we do labneh. And when we have tons of labneh, we preserve it in olive oil. For the season, we’re not going to add goats milk. We call it the dry season. This is why we have to preserve it. And then we have another way to preserve the flavor of the goat milk, the yogurt. We have here, a yogurt stone. 100 years ago, we did not have refrigerators here, by drying it completely, we can preserve the flavor and the taste of the yogurt without it being spoiled. I feel like grating it a little bit on top just to enhance that flavor. (upbeat music) And this is our beautiful cucumber salad. (upbeat music) (sizzling) Let’s check the challah, it’s ready. (clanking) Okay. (clanking) What a beauty. What a beauty. Okay. (clanking) You see the tomato sauce in the shakshuka and the challah are like groom and bride. Wow. (sizzling) And since I don’t want it to burn, I’m going to add some olive oil. (sizzling) Next, we are moving into the eggplant salad and the eggplant is ready. (upbeat music) The juices of the burned eggplant are bitter. (upbeat music) So you want to put it into a colander, so all the liquid will go down, okay? (upbeat music) So let it be for a moment. (upbeat music) The eggplant salad is the most simple. First we’re starting by peeling the eggplant while it’s warm and we can use a small knife. What we do on open fire is just burning the skin completely and we are smoking it. So, since we are not going to clean completely, the charred skin, the whole flavor of the salad will be a little smoky. And this is the key for the salad. I’m going to put it here, and I’m going to slice it. Not ’till the end and open it. You see how he left some burned skin and this is the smoke. It’s important to leave it on. (upbeat music) Of course, of course. We need a garlic clove, one garlic clove. (upbeat music) We cannot deal without garlic. If you don’t like garlic, don’t get into my class. You can do this salad without garlic, I’m kidding. (upbeat music) I would take some salt and put some salt and I will take some lemon, and put some lemon. So the eggplant loves salt, lemon, garlic, and now what he loves the most is the tahini, that I’m going to put raw tahini here. (clanking) (upbeat music) And we put very little, not a lot. And pomegranate concentrate. We are going to add some pomegranates here. We’re going to put some olive oil and this is it. (upbeat music) And let’s move into our shakshuka. The tomato sauce is ready. There is no shakshuka without eggs. (upbeat music) You will see two egg yolks. (sizzling) So many twins, so many twins. And we use a spoon. I’m making a place kind of, for them. (upbeat music) I’m trying not to break their yolk, but if one was broken, no problem. I’m not going to fuss about it, it’s okay. (upbeat music) And now I’m turning the flame down. And once the white protein is almost ready, we’re going to take a burrata, surprise, surprise. What a burrata is doing in the Israeli cooking, I will tell you why, because we started to have good burrata in Israel. It’s very trendy and nowadays in every restaurant we have a burrata dish. So, we’ve got very fresh burrata and we’re going to break it on top of this shakshuka. (upbeat music) Oh, oh, it’s not bad. It’s not bad at all. (upbeat music) If you don’t like a burrata you can use jibneh, which is a Syrian cheese, it will be more authentic to the middle East. (upbeat music) And now I’m going to put some salt on top, because the burrata is not salty. Most people will over cook the egg yolks and it’s important to leave them really soft, because then we can use the challah to eat this beautiful shakshuka. I have my hyssop here, (upbeat music) and I’m going to add some hyssop. Hyssop is a zaatar. (upbeat music) Not too much. (upbeat music) And I’m going to taste it to see if it’s hot enough. (upbeat music) This is ready. (upbeat music) And I will put it here. (gentle music) And we’ll take the challah. (gentle music) Okay. (gentle music) And now there is no proper Israeli breakfast without a little arac. Arac is our local ouzo kind of. (gentle music) Now, let’s eat this shakshuka. I’m dying to eat this shakshuka. You see the yellow is nice, and so, I’m taking also burrata. Everything was melting together and then taking some of the challah, warm challah. (gentle music) Wow. Wow. (light upbeat music) Wow. It’s so spicy. (grinding) Wow let’s taste these eggplants. Wow. What an eggplant. Wow. This is the best. (gentle music) Cucumber salad, shakshuka, eggplant, and challah, Delicious, healthy, pure olive oil, veggies, and lots of love. (gentle music)

About the Instructor

Renowned chef, baker, and cookbook author celebrated as the “Godfather” of modern Israeli cuisine, Erez Komarovsky takes viewers on a journey to discover the roots of his Middle Eastern cuisine. Starting from the bustling markets of Tel Aviv, Israel to his blissful home in the North Galilee, Erez teaches viewers how to bake his “flowering” Challah and Pita breads, plus his signature dishes including Lamb Kebabs, Hummus Mezze with Falafel, Harissa Chicken, Fish Crudo and more.

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