Friday, April 30, 2010

Shakshuka Slowdown

We Tarts eat too fast. Ridiculously though someone's gonna take our food away from us.

On occasion, I've found myself in a crouching tiger position, ready to defend my turf...

It's a bad habit and the origin for my affliction lies in my early years of waitressing. Generally, a dinner shift runs from 4:00 to 10:00, so even if I ate before work, I was ravenous by around 8:00 or 9:00. Eating during a shift is off limits, but what's a gal to do? I needed fuel to finish the job. So I'd edge up to one of the chefs, all stealth-like, and plead for something to eat. Like some drug deal, they'd slide somethin' over, I'd hide the kibble under a napkin, scan for management then bust tail to a hidden corner of the restaurant and slam it like Rowdy Roddy Piper.

But the time has come for me (not fair to force the pregnant Tart to do it) to nip this bad habit in the bud, not only because it isn't pretty, but there are benefits to slowing down and enjoying your slowing down and enjoying your food...and better digestion, weight loss and less stress. Oh and did I mention slowing down and enjoying your food? I mean, I spend so much time making it, why not take the time to savor it?

So last night, as I was powering through my meal (still wearing my apron cuz I don't slow down long enough to take it off), I stopped myself and decided to do a little experiment in hopes of reaching some sort of gastronomical enlightenment. Every time I took a bite, I forced myself to put my fork down and wait 30 seconds before I could pick it up again. It went something like this...





Ahhh...eating once again...

So, did it work? Did my life change for the better? Well, my wrinkles didn't disappear, unexpected checks didn't suddenly appear in the mail and "My So-Called Life" isn't returning to television, but this habit was years in the making, so it may take me a minute to reach enlightenment on my path to becoming the next Foodha. But I'ma keep on tryin'...

Oh and just in case you feel like you're going away with nuthin' and wondering why the heck you bothered stopping by, I'll leave you with the recipe for what I was "slowly" eating. It was insane by the way and made my job that much more difficult.

Shakshuka with Cast Iron Potatoes

(Click link for recipe)

Cast Iron Red Potatoes
by Me

2 lbs. red potatoes, thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1 to 2 Tbs. chopped, fresh rosemary
Olive oil
Kosher salt/fresh ground black pepper to taste
Cilantro garnish

Combine above ingredients in a bowl, drizzling with enough oil to coat. Heat 1 to 2 Tbsp. oil in a cast iron skillet on medium-high. When oil is hot, add contents of bowl. Cook for a few minutes until the edges of some of the potatoes are crispy, turning once or twice so they don't stick. Add a bit more oil and turn down to medium-low. Cover and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes to desired tenderness. Remove lid and turn potatoes periodically, adding more oil if necessary. Garnish with a bit of cilantro.

I then layered the Shakshuka on top of the potatoes and garnished with avocado and a bit more feta. Delish!


  1. Mmm, I love shakshuka! Hope you enjoyed it that much more for having eaten slowly =)

  2. that's some intense discipline! that food looks delish!

  3. tarts- yes.
    potatoes- yes.
    eating way too fast- guilty.

  4. My god. I never finish an entire mouthfull of food without shoving another in. My dad used to say 'slow down, no one's going to take it away from you.' Words to live by.

  5. Ohhh..I love shakshuka..Really great post and I love your blog!

  6. Eating way too fast? I blame my children for this habit i have. If you have a bad eating child at the table you have to eat fast between giving it something and getting fed yourself (pardon me if this is not correct English, i'm from Holland).Lovely recipes,great blog. xx

  7. Haha yes! From my days of serving, I can totally relate. So true! Hard to get through that dinner hour without some fuel ;)

    Love the eating... and waiting... and eating... and waiting... ;)

    A.Co @ A.Co est. 1984

    PS - nice arms! (super toned)

  8. Thanks for the nice comments, ya'll. Glad to know we're not alone! And A.Co - my arms are toned due to the cardio action...bowl to mouth, bowl to mouth. Pretty sure I do about 60 reps a minute:)

  9. So funny. I have been working on this for i dunno, 15 years? It's like what do I think is going to happen to my food if it sits there for a few minutes? what do i think will happen to me? i think of those monks that make it a meditation and i wonder if there is hope for me......

  10. Love it! I wrote a post about the same thing last year. I've tried everything, including chop sticks. It's a l-o-n-g process to slow down.

  11. shakshuka sounds soo good and tempting.

  12. Lord knows I eat way too fast. I have no idea where it comes from, but I am think that when I see something good in front of me like this (mmmm, avocados), I must devour it asap or it will disappear. It will right?

  13. I understand the "eating too fast" thing, as well. But I blame the nuns. You couldn't play during lunch until you had eaten all of your food. Less eating time = more play time. So I can kill a meal in a couple of minutes, or less.