This is the first installment of Guinea Pig Kitchen. The most frequent questions I get asked about touring are generally related to food. Usually it comes down to, what do you eat? Since my first tour in 2008, I have put down about 15,000km touring and since that first tour everything has changed. Then I was on a track bike with an overloaded backpack eating at cafes and staying in hostels (or under the occasional bridge). Now I have 2, going on three tourable bikes (including that old track bike coming full circle), I own multiple stoves, switch regularly between tent and hammock camping. I would say I have my grub down pretty good.
I like food. I like good food a lot. I fancy myself a pretty damn good cook. When I became a vegetarian, half my life ago, my mom told me it was time to learn to cook. The memory mangled press worthy quote was a long the lines of “I’ve have too many children to cook for one that wants to be different”. So I have some practice.
OK, STFU now and talk about the food.
Shakshuka! This is a recent addition to my arsenal. A friend and fellow Team Moustacher taught me this one about a year and a half ago before we threw the Team Moustache Albany Bulb race.
Shakshouka (Arabic: شكشوكة; Hebrew: שקשוקה) (also shakshuka) is a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, onions, often spicedwith cumin. It is believed to have a Tunisian origin.
This is as delicious as it sounds. Having realized last year carrying eggs isn’t as hazardous as it sounds I quickly adopted this as a touring food. This is my recent Hawk Overnight rendition along with some prep tips for short trips.
- Green Onions
- Baby Heirloom Tomatoes
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 2 eggs
- seasoned with salt and pepper
Since I was just doing an overnight I was only going to cook breakfast, this meant I could prep everything ahead of time.Dice up all the veg, chuck it into your container, add seasoning and your preferred cooking oil for a light saute*.
* optional, see next step
Next you can optionally saute your veggies. It will be just as good if you wanted to chuck them straight into the sauce and soften them up there. Ideal if you want to minimize your cookware kit. Just leave out some or all of the oil from the previous step and give the veggies 2-5 minutes before adding the eggs.
Put your veggies in the sauce and bring to a simmer. Once its simmering carefully crack and drop your eggs in the sauce.
The eggs cook differently than normal poaching. I usually give it about 10 minutes with the lid on and the lowest simmer I can get my stove (MSR Whisper Lite) to do. This will vary between stoves and cookware but the egg should be much firmer than you’d do for something like Eggs Benedict.
My egg looks like a dumpling. But it is not, so serve with bread or toast.
Last step is find a beautiful view and enjoy.