If you're looking for a breakfast or brunch that has a bit of a Middle Eastern or Egyptian flavour then this simple but delicious breakfast is what you might be looking for. Inspired by the Cairo Eggs at Piccolo's Cafe in Rozelle, this is a soft, warmed pita bread topped with browned butter cumin eggs and paired with your very own home made Merguez sausages.
Merguez sausages are North African sausages usually made of lamb or beef. They're given the characteristic red or orange colour from the spicy harissa paste used in the seasoning. If you've never tried one, merguez sausages have a wonderful flavour intensity to them. A little goes a long way and I find that adding it as an ingredient, even in small number adds immeasurably to a dish.
For some reason I've thought that making sausages was daunting. It isn't really. Sausage stuffing just needs two things: fat and salt. Fat for flavour and texture and salt as a preservative. Other than that you can really add or subtract according to what you like. I kept these merguez sausages or kebabs traditional with plenty of cumin and harissa. And can I just say how absolutely delicious these are? They're great as kebabs, meatballs, burger pattys or crumbled up. I urge you to try this flavoursome mix just once at the least.
I'm not sure why I was so intimidated by making sausages. They're so simple (although I don't have a sausage casing machine). Sometimes I'm the biggest chicken when it comes to certain things and I build them up in my head but then when I actually do it, I wonder what the fuss was all about. Mr NQN often rolls his eyes at me but I call it cautiousness.
There are of course some times where he thinks that I am overly cautious. For example the other day he asked me why I was fiddling around with the back seat when I got into our car. "I'm checking for murderers," I said to him nonchalantly, as if what else would I be doing. Also whenever I park our car in the garage, I only exit the car once I have my keys in my hand and my finger on the alarm button. Some may call me paranoid! I call it cautious! ;)
So tell me Dear Reader, does sausage making intimidate you? Are you a fan of merguez sausages? Do you prefer lamb or beef? And do you check the back of your car when you get in?
- 4 flat breads
- 80g2.82ozs. butter
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt to taste
- 4 eggs
- 12 Merguez kebabs (see recipe below)
- Hummus to serve (see recipe below)
Have the sausages and the hummus ready and then this is a very simple to put together dish.
Step 1 - Heat the butter in a small saucepan on medium to high heat and allow to brown and become nutty in flavour. Add the cumin and a little salt to taste. Pour into a bowl and put aside.
Step 2 - Heat a non stick pan and add a bit of the browned butter in it and fry the eggs. Drizzle some more of the browned butter around the eggs. Place on warmed up flatbreads and serve with hummus and merguez sausages or kebabs.
Home Made Merguez Kebabs
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 500g/1.1lbs beef or lamb (25% of it fat, we preferred beef for this recipe)
- 3 tablespoons harissa (depending on how hot it is and how hot you want it)
- 4 teaspoons crushed garlic
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon sumac
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
Step 1 - In a dry saucepan heat up the fennel seeds, coriander and cumin until fragrant. Remove from heat.
Step 2 - Place the beef or lamb, harissa, garlic, toasted spices, salt, paprika, cinnamon, sumac and breadcrumbs in a food processor and process until well combined. Cook a little of the mixture to test for seasoning.
Step 3 - Shape into kebab shapes or footballs or fill sausage casings with it. Heat a frypan (you don't need to add any oil) and fry until cooked through.
- 400g/14.13ozs. tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained (you can always keep the water to make aquafaba dishes)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoons tahini
- 2 teaspoons crushed garlic
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup water
- Salt to taste
- Cumin browned butter to serve
Step 1 - Blend the chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, garlic and water together. Add salt for seasoning. Drizzle over the top with the cumin browned butter.