Middle Eastern Breakfast at TLV

December 3, 2010 3:03:01 PM PST
If you're looking for food with a Middle Eastern flair, you may want to head to Long Island this weekend. You'll find a place where they're serving up Israeli specialties, including an authentic breakfast dish.

You'll find shawarma, hummus and falafel at Michael Ginor's restaurant, TLV.

TLV is the airport code for Tel Aviv and it is like taking a trip without the flight. Just head to Middle Neck Road in Great Neck, which is where Michael has lived since 1976.

"I really wanted to do a restaurant back to my roots serve your neighborhood kosher," said Michael Ginor.

That means his food is kosher and non-dairy. There is lot of fish, small plates and a classic morning dish.

"Shakshouka is your basic Libyan origins," he said/

Shakshouka is based on a stew of onions, peppers, tomatoes and spices like chili powder, paprika and coriander. That stew is then placed in a skillet, along with two eggs, which sort of bake and poach. Right before it is cooked through, a little harissa is added. Finished off under the broiler, it comes out sizzling and is served with pita.

The recipe is below:


4 tablespoons vegetable oil, for frying
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 ½ cups fresh peeled and diced tomatoes
4 tablespoon harissa (available at Kalustyan's by mail order or at better supermarkets and gourmet shops). May substitute a mixture of teaspoon of chili powder, teaspoon of paprika, teaspoon of olive oil, teaspoon of lemon juice, pinch of coriander.

½ teaspoon cumin (optional)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
8 eggs
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1.Over medium-high heat, heat the oil in a deep 12 inch cast iron skillet or 4 separate small skillets (and divide appropriately)

2. Lightly fry the garlic (about two minutes) till golden. Do not burn.

3. Add the tomatoes and seasonings and cook for 15-20 minutes over low heat, partly covered.

4. Add the tomato paste, cover and simmer for a few minutes. Adjust the seasonings to taste. Turn heat back to medium high.

5. Break the eggs one by one and slide onto the tomato sauce, arranging the yolks around the rim of the pan and in the middle.

6. Turn heat back down to low. Cover with a lid and cook 5 minutes until the egg whites are set, or longer if you like your eggs well done.

7. Add harissa on top, and place under hot broiler for one minute. Serve directly from the skillet with toasted pita bread.

Serves 4.