I woke up feeling a little bereft this morning. Both the boys were gone, Hasan had returned to New Jersey last week, Murat had left on a sailing trip for a week...it was just my husband, my mother-in-law, Bostan and I left in the house... and today was Hasan's birthday too... So what do we do now, I asked myself, even before I got out of bed... Since I was the first one out of bed, I moped around for a bit waiting for everyone to wake up. After a while I started to plan our breakfast, my brilliant solution to a mellow mood... I would make eggs... something a little creative, maybe... Then my husband woke up and I asked him how he would like his eggs, his response was 'Menemen' not at all surprising since this is his usual response to this question nine times out of ten. 'Menemen' is a Turkish invention that can be eaten for breakfast or for a meal since it is made with tomatoes and peppers and even at times, onions. I am not sure if there is any one set recipe, as long as you add tomatoes and eggs. I just go by whatever I have on hand at the moment or however the mood strikes me. Here are the general guidelines:
'Menemen' (Eggs with tomatoes)
Peppers (Red or green)
Cheese (Feta- Optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste
The following is how I prepared the eggs in the picture... you have free reign... go wild...
1. I put 1 Tbspn of olive oil and 1 Tbspn vegetable oil in a pan and
2. sautéd the diced red peppers (1 big pepper) meanwhile
3. I put two big tomatoes in boiling water for two minutes (this will help to peel them very, very easily), took them out, peeled and diced them;
4. threw the tomatoes into the pan as well, keep on sautéing on low heat, till the liquid had evaporated from the tomatoes and only the oil was left with the vegetables in the pan - this takes about 10-15 minutes.
5. I made little indentations in the tomato mixture and broke 5 whole eggs and 2 egg yolks into this.
6. Closed the lid for a little bit and let it cook.
7. I checked after a couple of minutes to see if the egg whites had started to cook- from now on everything depends on your taste- we don't like our eggs to be cooked too much so
8. when the eggs whites started look like they had started to set (Turned a white color from the clear liquid) I put my 1/2 cup of shredded feta cheese in at this point and cook until the cheese has melted,
9. add the 2 Tbspn of chopped parsley and keep it on the heat for another minute and serve.
Note: If you want to add onions, add them with the peppers and cook them until they turn yellow. You can use any kind of cheese but feta is the best suited one in my opinion.
Be forewarned, you will consume lots and lots of bread with this meal. The best would be Turkish bread, of course, but a baguette or a sour dough will do fine as well.