Well Fed's Shakshuka
Shakshuka is huevos rancheros by way of the Sahara desert. It's a stovetop casserole composed of cloud-like eggs that are lovingly simmered in a silken, spiced tomato sauce. The dish is an everyday breakfast or dinner in North African countries like Morocco, Egypt, and Tunisia - and it's wildly popular in Israel, too, the result of Jewish immigration in the 1950s. In cafes, it's often served in sizzling, individual-sized cast-iron skillets. Once you've tried shakshuka, you'll find yourself daydreaming about when you'll eat it again.
- 4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium sweet onion cut into thin slices
- 1 large red bell pepper cut into thin slices
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp Aleppo pepper
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 1 28 oz. can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
- 8-12 large eggs or however many you need for serving
- ½ cup fresh parsley or cilantro minced
Start the Shakshuka
- Warm the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, 2-3 minutes.
- Cook the vegetables gently until very soft, about 7 minutes.
- Mix the garlic, cumin, paprika, salt, Aleppo pepper, and black pepper in a small bowl. Add the spices to the pan and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.
- Add the tomato paste to the pan and cook for 1 minute.
- Pour in the crushed tomatoes and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.
Cook the Eggs
- Make indentations in the sauce with the back of a spoon and gently crack the eggs into the wells. Season the eggs with a few shakes of salt and pepper.
- Cover the skillet with a lid and cook until the eggs are just set, 7 to 10 minutes. (You man way to spoon some of the tomato sauce over the whites to help them cook; be gentle and don't agitate the yolk.)
You Know How You Could Do That?
Make a meat sauce: When you start the shakshuka, brown 1 pound ground beef or lamb before sautéing the onion and pepper, then proceed with the rest of the recipe - or make these ingredient substitutions to change the country of origin: Tex-Mex: Omit the paprika and add 1 tablespoon chili powder. Garnish with minced cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice. Italian: Omit the cumin and paprika. Add 1 tablespoon dried Italian herb blend. Garnish with minced basil leaves. The sauce can be made the night before and stored in an airtight container in the fridge. When it's time to eat, reheat the sauce and pick up at "Cook the Eggs." From Well Fed Weeknights by Melissa Joulwan (page 209
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