Shakshuka

My roommate isn’t used to vegetarian meals — particularly from me. I’m a Southerner, and I tend to believe most things would be improved by starting them with a bit of bacon; I have the requisite jar of bacon fat in my fridge. It’s a bit less unusual for breakfast foods, but I’m not sure he even realized that’s what this was. Shakshuka has showed up in a lot of places lately — blogs I read, cooking shows I watch, overheard conversations. I served mine with feta, but I suspect it would go even better with sizzling browned halloumi — I just forgot to look for any at the market, and there was feta in my fridge.

Shakshuka is an Israeli dish, eggs essentially poached in a lovely, spicy tomato sauce. It’s not much like an Italian sauce, even if you accidentally get the tomatoes packed with basil (which I did, and don’t recommend, though it didn’t affect the flavor too much); instead, it’s rich and smoky like we Americans expect chili to be. I’m a bit iffy about poached eggs, and I was surprised at how well the combination worked. Serve with pita, or good crusty bread like focaccia, which is what I did.

Shakshuka, adapted a teeny bit from Smitten Kitchen

1/4 c. olive oil
1 medium onion
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded*
1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. cumin
5 cloves garlic, smashed and sliced
1 28-oz can whole peeled plum tomatoes
1/2 c. water
4-6 eggs
1/2 c. feta crumbles
2-3 Tbsp. fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a 12″-or-larger skillet over medium-high heat. Dice the onion and jalapenos, the latter fairly fine; add them to the oil with a sprinkling of salt and let them sizzle until they’re lovely and golden brown, around 6 minutes. Add the paprika, cumin and garlic; stir a bit while the garlic toasts.

Empty the can of tomatoes into a bowl and crush them by hand. Ideally you want small pieces rather than long stringy bits. This may require the aid of a pair of kitchen shears. Add the tomatoes with their juice and the water to the pan and stir the lot up; drop the heat to medium and let it bubble away for 15 minutes or so, until the sauce thickens slightly. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.

Carefully slide the eggs into the sauce, one at a time; cover the pan and let them cook for 4-5 minutes to set the yolk. Remove the cover and poke a bit; you want runny yolks, all the better to be soaked up with delicious bread. Spoon the tomato sauce carefully over the egg whites to cook them through without disturbing the yolk too much. Sprinkle the feta and parsley over the dish and serve in the pan, letting folks dip their bread into the nummy sauce!

*Use more than this. It was not noticeably spicy and didn’t even have much pepper flavor. I should have used four.

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~ by iliadawry on 3 August 2012.

One Response to “Shakshuka”

  1. Ooooh! I’ve been meaning to try this since I saw it on Smitten. Glad to know it is CNFB approved! 🙂

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