Hands down one of THE most memorable meals I ate in 2014 was an Algerian omelette from the brilliant Park Cafe In The Hub in Victoria Park, London. An unusual omelette made from eggs (obviously), chips, cheese, red onion, tomato, coriander and smothered in a smokey harissa rub, it is like a big, comforting, spicy hug. The cafe’s manager Jamsheed very kindly shared their recipe with me so I could recreate it at home (I have also simplified it slightly). While mine is not a patch on the cafe’s own, it is definitely worth a try!
The cafe make their chips properly in a deep fat fryer while I cooked my shop-bought chips in the oven and as usual managed to overdo them slightly – try to just about cook yours without browning them too much. The cafe also make their own harissa – a fiery North African rub that is used to flavour and marinate food (mostly meat) – while I bought mine from the supermarket. I am addicted to harissa at the moment and have also been rubbing it on to halloumi cheese before griddling and enjoying it with salad. For another harissa recipe using fish click here https://katielovescooking.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/moroccan-style-coley-20-mins-prep15-mins-cooking-depending-on-size-of-pan/.
To fully appreciate this Algerian omelette recipe I would suggest visiting the Park Cafe in the Hub itself (which has a number of other equally wonderful and interesting menu options). If you have children or just happen to like slides then you can enjoy the massive, fast slides in the play area next door too!
Algerian omelette (serves 2 hungry people)
1 small red onion, finely chopped
8 cherry tomatoes, each quartered
Large bunch coriander, chopped
Large handful grated cheddar
30 chunky/regular chips
Harissa (available from supermarkets)
Cook the chips (either in the oven or a deep fat fryer) until just cooked but not too browned. While they are cooking get a mixing bowl ready. Crack in the four eggs with the onion, tomato and most of the coriander. Mix gently until the egg is blended well and make sure the texture is not too fluffy.
Once the chips are ready place and spread them in a fairly hot pan with some oil (veg or rapeseed oil – the cafe recommend rapeseed oil as it brings out the flavours more but i didn’t have any so used veg oil). After one minute pour over the egg mixture, on a medium flame. Cook for a few minutes until the egg is 3/4 cooked, then sprinkle on the cheddar and place it under a grill. Once the egg is fully cooked and the cheese is melted and slightly browned, smear on the harissa (generously if you want lots of flavour and spice!) and place it under the grill again for 40 seconds. Remove and garnish with the remaining coriander. Cut and serve (with a crispy salad if you like).
Recipe by The Park Cafe in the Hub, Victoria Park, Hackney, London. You can find their website at http://www.theparkcafeinvictoriapark.com, Facebook ‘The Park Cafe in the Hub’ and on twitter @jamsheedt