What's Not to Like?

What's not to like about this recipe? 

It's cheap, it's easy, it's fast. 
It's made in one pot, it has loads of veg in it and it's made out of storecupboard ingredients. 
It's an excellent way of using up leftover meat and veg.
Best of all it is infinitely adaptable. It can be vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, meaty or fishy. 

This dish started life as corn creole from Lindsey Bareham's book A Wolf in the Kitchen. It has evolved somewhat but I still follow her suggestion to serve it with grated cheese and slabs of fresh, white bread thickly buttered. 

First of all you need a suitable pan. I use a wide, shallow cast iron pan with a lid. A large frying pan will do and although a lid is desirable you can manage without. You could also use an ordinary flameproof casserole dish.

1) Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil or butter in your pan. I used olive oil. Chop a medium onion (I used some of my veg hash) and add it to the pan and let it soften for a few minutes.

2) Now you can add some spices. Or not, as you like. I added a couple of teaspoons of a creole blend. Smoked paprika is really good, or cayenne, curry spices, curry paste- really it's up to you, whatever you like. I also chucked in a crushed garlic clove at this point. Stir the spices around with the onion for about 5 minutes allowing them to lose their harshness. Don't let them burn though -add a bit more oil if necessary or even a splash of water.

3) Throw in 2 cans of tomatoes. I used chopped, but whole tomatoes are fine, just break them up with a wooden spoon. You could also use an equivalent amount of fresh tomatoes -skin them first.
Stir the spicy onions into the tomatoes and simmer for about 5 minutes.

4) Now you can really start to customise this dish. I used frozen sweetcorn and just poured it into the tomatoes until it looked enough. Then I let it simmer for 5-10 minutes until heated through.

You don't have to use sweetcorn.

Other options either on their own or in combination are;
~ beans -either tinned or ones you have soaked and cooked. Chickpeas, black beans and red kidney beans are my favourites.
~ vegetables such as courgettes, mushrooms, aubergines*, peppers**, frozen peas or diced cooked squash.
~ white fish fillets, prawns, tuna, leftover roast chicken or pork, cooked sausages, smoked sausage, chorizo, ham, cooked bacon
~ chunks of mozzarella, goat's cheese, halloumi or feta -add cheese just before serving so that it is just beginning to melt.
~ eggs
~ olives are a nice addition with tuna or feta.

*, **
Best to soften these with the onion first.

To cook eggs like this simply crack one egg per person on top of the tomato mixture, put a lid on and simmer for 5 minutes more or less depending how hard you like your eggs (I like mine soft, Charlie likes his hard. I cannot persuade him that he is Just Plain Wrong about this).

I love it with buttered white bread because that's one less thing to cook (flatbreads, chunks of French bread would be perfect too) but you don't have to serve it with bread. Baked potatoes or rice are great too. You could also serve it over pasta or stir cooked pasta into it. And if you aren't a teenage boy you will probably find it filling enough on its own.

I usually put a bowl of grated cheese on the table too, though not if there is already cheese in the dish.

We eat this dish in one form or another every week. It takes about 20 minutes from start to finish. Now if only I could come up with a good name for it..... any suggestions?


  1. My husband speaks fondly of a meal his mother used to make, consisting of whatever was to hand thrown into a heavy pot and cooked while she asked everyone repeatedly how many times she'd told them to wash their hands. It was called Mother's Nosh. Your dish looks like a bona fide instance of it, and very tempting too.

  2. Hmmm, 'Sues Surprise!'. As the family never knows exactly what's instore!

  3. How about:-Sweetcorn

    1. Ha! That took me a minute or two -excellent suggestion! Oh but what if I made a beans, olives, tomatoes version - would it be BOTTY?

    2. And now my screen is covered with coffee. Bad girl!

  4. Sounds delicious - must try it sometime. How about Storecupboard Surprise? Or What you've got casserole! Though to be honest I like Sue's Surprise better.

  5. I've just bought Wolf in the Kitchen - for 1p plus p&p and love it.....did you know LB partner was the writer of Pie in the Sky?
    I shall look out for those Creole spices.

    1. Thanks Gigibird, I knew she was the culinary advisor to Pie in the Sky but didn't know she was the partner of the writer. Love that programme -currently rerunning on some channel or other -think we have an episode to watch tonight.

      Those Bart's spice blends are a bit pricey but they last a long time.

  6. Henceforth the similar something made in this house, which always has beans, will be known as Botty! I just hope that anyone who reads this has read the other comments or they'll think I'm being rude about your cooking.

    Thanks for all the suggestions for things to add, there are things there I wouldn't have thought of :)

  7. Anonymous7:31 pm GMT

    well i loved the look of it so much we have just finished eating it-the lovely husband made it and served it with meatloaf for tea-divine. Made it wish veg hash, mushrooms, chopped tinned toms and a can of mixed beans, with some spicy paprika. Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. Sue, there is absolutely nothing not to like about this recipe...and I thank you so much for sharing this cold weather dish. I also want to compliment you on those frost edged photos. Yes, winter is drawing nearer as the daylight lessens, but each season really does give us such beauty and so much inspiration.

    And...this autumn, we are being treated to Pie in the Sky on one of our PBS television stations. Tonight's show is on in less than 30 minutes. What a small world?

    It's grand visiting here! xo

  9. A name? Safari Zambezi! Why give the dish such an exotic name? Firstly it is possible to make this in some version while on any safari or camping trip or expedition. And secondly hardly any of your friends and family are familiar with the culinary joys of eating by the Zambezi, so there will be no complaints on that score. Let's face it; this dish is made with readily accessible ingredients and has many reincarnations. Other names? Ethiopian Eggs. Patagonian Fireside Dinner. Nome Casserole. Moscow Mixup.

  10. Well, that's dinner sorted! Looks great and I love the ease of it. I have been chronic about commenting lately but I am still reading and absolutely loving your posts Sue. The photographs in the last were just beautiful. D is fine by the way,. Left a phone message and she emailed me back to say just very busy but well xx

  11. Ah now this is the kind of meal I love to cook. Like our favourite soup (Cream of Fridge) it comprises whatever you have to hand. Carefully considered, of course, you can't just throw anything in, to be sure. I did chuckle over the name suggestions! And I am TOTALLY with you on the soft eggs front - anthing else is wrong, it's just WRONG!

  12. I have a recipe which is very similar - you just reminded me how long it is since I made it!

  13. Hi Sue! I think a good name for it is a 'one pot wonder' as you wonder what is going to be in it!

    1. Oh, now I like that one Simone. mind you I like all the suggestions, so thanks to everyone who made a suggestion!

  14. I'm with Charlie on the hard egg v's runny egg. Obviously he has good taste!

  15. Does OOOOH Yummy ! qualify as a name ?

  16. I'll be making this for tea tomorrow sounds absolutely scrumptious. I'm going to put mozzarella on the kids portions though as they won't eat eggs. (which is a bit of a pain as we have 12 hens in the back garden!)

  17. Pati from London9:27 pm GMT

    My mum always has homemade tomato sauce (she mades with olive oil, onion, pasata, sugar and salt) in her fridge in Spain as she uses it a lot. We very often put the tomato sauce in a frying pan, without oil and cook our eggs on the sauce by covering them with a lid. They are yum, yum...
    Have never added anything else to the sauce but you gave me an idea... Pati x

  18. This look yummy, I'm going to give it a try this week!

    S x


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