Booking the Cooks: Jerry Fish

The master of the festive performance cooks up a christmas brunch with a difference

When we think about all that we hold dear about the holiday season, the music- loving socialites among you will always talk about your essential Christmas gig – the one special concert that you always attend with any mates who are home from abroad, along with your usual gang of merrymakers. No matter how hard the Yuletide parties have hit your liver, there’s no way that you can miss your favourite Christmas gig.

One master of the festive performance is Jerry Fish. His flair for spectacle and pageantry and brilliant back catalogue of classic tunes make for the perfect circus- like Christmas show. He has two such events coming up, next week in Whelan's. In advance of these dates, we got to chatting about how 2013 treated him and what he'll be cooking at home for Chrimbo. It's a dish called Shakshuka.

“I first tasted it near Jaffa, where Jonah was spat out by the whale. It’s the perfect late breakfast or brunch, not very Christmassy – but it is from the Holy Land.”

And his highlight of this year ? "Having my own stage at The Electric Picnic, 'The Jerry Fish Electric Sideshow'. I love to party with people who are into alternative lifestyles and where better than among the trees at Stradbally." Indeed! Or even the live venues of Dublin, perhaps?


Jerry Fish’s Christmas shakshuka

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cans of diced tomatoes
1/2 medium brown or white onion, peeled and dice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium green or red pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 teaspoon mild chili powder
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper – or more if you like heat
Pinch of sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
5-6 eggs
1/2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley

Heat a deep, large pan with the olive oil. Add chopped onion and fry for a few minutes until the onion begins to soften. Throw the garlic in and continue to sauté for a minute or so.
Stir the tomatoes and tomato paste into the pan until blended. Add in the spices and sugar and keep stirring over a medium heat for five minutes. Then let it simmer on a low heat for another five minutes to reduce. Taste for spice and seasoning, if you're happy, rock on.
Crack the eggs, one at a time, directly over the tomato mixture in the pan and keep the heat low. Be sure to space them evenly over the sauce. For a standard 10 inch pan, you can get four to five eggs around the outer edge and one in the center. The eggs will cook on top of the tomato sauce.
Cover the pan. Allow mixture to simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked and the sauce has reduced a little. But keep an eye on the pan to make sure that the sauce doesn't reduce too much, which will make it burn. Sprinkle the parsley on top to garnish.

The Jerry Fish Electric Side Show hits Whelan's, Dublin, on December 22nd and 23rd, and he plays Mixtape at Vicar St, Dublin, on December 31st