Spicy Merguez Scramble with Lemon-Harissa Yogurt and Moroccan M’smen
Ten years ago, my friend Jessamyn Rodriguez envisioned a nonprofit that would change the face of the culinary industry by training immigrant women for good jobs in food. She set up a wholesale bakery and teaching kitchen in East Harlem. She called it Hot Bread Kitchen. Three years in, she invited me to join the board of directors, and I’ve proudly been watching its ranks of bakers, cooks, and managers expand ever since.As of today, Hot Bread Kitchen (or HBK) has helped hundreds of women and small food businesses get off the ground while significantly raising the bar on NYC’s carb game with its globally themed bread, from stollen, and babka to challah and parker house rolls—all inspired by the recipes of the women who train there. But it’s their M’smen—an intensely buttery Moroccan flatbread—that i’m addicted to.I buy it online or at their bakery whenever I can. It’s a challenge not to rip it apart and eat it on the spot, but if i bring it home, M’smen becomes the basis for a slew of delicious meals. It’s the ideal vehicle for almost any dip and a gorgeous base on which to pile a salad or braised vegetables and meat.Crisped up in a pan with a little (more) butter or oil, my most recent M’smen revelation is for breakfast, served with harissa-spiced yogurt, merguez sausage, and eggs. With every bite, i give a quiet nod of thanks to the fearless women of HBK who have taught me so much about reinvention, resilience, and the barrier-breaking power of well-baked bread. You can get the recipe for M’smen here or order it online at hotbreadkitchen.org.