April 18, 2014
N.B. We are beginning our hiring process! We are hiring for most positions and the procedure is simple: click on the JOBS tab at the top of our homepage SimonesRI.com, fill out the application and submit it online. Or you could print the application and send it (with your resume or whatever you have) via snail mail to:
275 Child Street
Warren, RI 02885
Please DO NOT come to the restaurant! Our site is an active construction zone and is not really safe for people to be walking around. Thank you!
Daffodils are everywhere!
The sun has reached that warming angle in the sky and winter seems almost like a bad memory. Our friends at New Urban Farmers are furiously tending their seedlings, and all of us are
involved in the rituals of Spring.
Anyone taking a drive past our new location will notice that our building is growing and taking shape! Our new entrance has been framed, the concrete floor has been poured and our new roof is slated to be installed this week. Our new website (thanks Maeve and Nami Studios) is in its infancy and our eyes are on the Prize: a June opening for Simone’s. More than flowers are growing on Child Street.
Can you tell that I am trying to hold back from applying saccharin religious metaphors of resurrection here? In that spirit I am going to avoid a traditional Easter or Passover dinner idea and instead offer up a breakfast or lunch recipe from the “old country” that has been resonating, or stewing, in my mind if you will. I have been thinking about Shakshuska, Middle Eastern style eggs stewed in a well seasoned tomato sauce. This is based on a recipe I found in Jerusalem, one of a trio of fabulous cookbooks by London restauranteurs Yottam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. Their story is poignant as well—both men grew up in Tel-Aviv, on separate sides of the fence: Yottam grew up in a Jewish family and Sami is the son of Arabs. That Yottam and Sami could make their way to London and forge a cooking partnership based on a combination of Sephardic Jewish and Middle Eastern cuisines and cross cultural
respect is a powerful message for our times.
I guess that I am saying during this holy week I have been reflecting in my own way about the importance of relationships, team building and understanding. Whether you celebrate
Easter, Passover or none of the above please accept our best wishes during this time.
Based on a recipe by Yottam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
About 1 1/2 cups red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 tbsp Harissa (red pepper paste available at most grocery stores)—to taste or optional
2 tbsp tomato paste (preferably from organically grown tomatoes)
1 tbsp minced fresh garlic or to taste
1-2 tsp ground cumin to taste
3 1/2 cups chopped very ripe tomatoes (or use tinned—I prefer Pomi chopped tomatoes for this recipe)
pinch crushed red chiles—optional to taste
8 large eggs, preferably local and sustainably raised
1/4 cup Greek yogurt, Lebneh or strained yogurt
salt to taste
additional olive oil for drizzling
- Using a very large skillet sweat the bell peppers and onions in the olive oil for a few minutes until they begin to soften. Add the Harissa, tomato paste, cumin and garlic and cook for a few more minutes to bloom the flavors.
- Add the tomatoes and crushed chiles if using and bring to a simmer. Add salt to taste and cook slowly for 8-10 minutes until the sauce thickens.
- Make 8 indentations in the sauce with the back of a spoon and carefully crack an egg into each “hole.” Using a fork, carefully spread the whites out around each yolk—but don’t pierce the yolk unless you wish them to be fully cooked.
- Simmer gently for 4 - 6 minutes until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny. You could speed this up by covering the pan, but be aware that the yolk will cook faster this way.
- Remove from heat and let rest for a few moments to allow the flavors to settle then serve on individual plates with a spoonful of Greek Yogurt, a drizzle of olive oil and don’t forget to pass the peppermill.
N.B. Eggs simmered in a spicy tomato sauce is fairly common throughout the Mediterranean. I have eaten a spicy version of this in Italy called Eggs in Purgatory, and the authors of Jerusalem report that Shakshuka is of Tunisian origin.