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Saturday, August 06, 2011

Moroccan Merguez Ragout with Poached Eggs

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
Moroccan Merguez Ragout with Poached Eggs is a great exotic dish which would be really impressive to bring to the brunch table. This recipe serves 4 people. Merguez sausage is a distinctly spiced Moroccan sausage made of lamb that can be found in specialty food markets. If you cannot find merguez in your area, use whatever sausage suits your taste, but I particularly like Spanish chorizo. Harissa is a fiery condiment found on most North African tables. You can find both harissa at Ziggys in Santa Fe or at Talin in Albuquerque.

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, small dice
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 pound merguez sausage, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 teaspoon Spanish sweet smoked paprika
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 15-ounce cans fire-roasted tomatoes, preferably Muir Glen
8 extra-large eggs
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro, stems included
2 tablespoons harissa, see note above
warm crusty bread, for serving

Heat the olive oil in a large cast iron frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until golden. Toss in the garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Add the merguez and sauté until almost cooked through, about 3 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the Spanish smoked paprika and salt. Stir to combine and cook for a minute to lightly toast the spices. Add the tomatoes. Turn up the heat to medium and cook until the mixture has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Crack the eggs over the mixture, cover and cook until the whites set, but the yolks are still soft. Divide the eggs and ragout among four warm bowls using a large spoon. Top with a sprinkling of cilantro and a teaspoon of Harissa. Serve immediately with crusty bread.