Friday, May 8, 2020

Shakshuka (Eggs Poached in Spicy Tomato Sauce)

SHAKSHUKA! Oh yeah, baby! I just love saying that name and, of course, eating this fab dish. It originated in North Africa but has become a popular and iconic breakfast dish in Israel. Some recipes call for fresh tomatoes, others for canned. I like using good quality canned whole tomatoes, which are consistently sweet and rich in flavor, crushed by hand (just put your hand in the can and VERY gently crush the tomatoes to ensure you don't get plastered with tomato juice). The spices and Harissa paste, a North African/Middle Eastern condiment, impart amazing flavor, but if you don't have Harissa, no problem -just add extra tomato paste and an extra pinch of cayenne.

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper (green or red), seeded and chopped
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 28-oz. can whole tomatoes (crushed by hand)
1 tbsp. Harissa paste (sub with tomato paste if not available)
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 cup pitted black olives, sliced
1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley leaves
6 eggs

1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the chopped onion and bell pepper; season with 1/2 tsp. each of salt and pepper and saute 5-6 minutes or until the vegetables are slightly softened.

2. Reduce the heat to medium and add the minced garlic, paprika, cumin, coriander and cayenne pepper. Stir briefly 15-20 seconds to incorporate. 

3. Stir in the hand-crushed tomatoes, Harissa paste, tomato paste, olives and parsley. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes or until the sauce has reduced and thickened. Taste the sauce and season with another 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper, as needed.

4. Make a well in the thickened sauce with a spoon and gently crack an egg into it. Continue doing the same with the remaining eggs so they are evenly spaced in the pan. Cover, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the eggs are cooked to your desired doneness. Turn off heat, remove cover, and garnish with fresh parsley leaves.

Great served with crusty bread or pita bread on the side. 

Parsley, bell pepper, onion, garlic.

Saute the onions and bell pepper in olive oil until slightly softened. Season with salt & pepper. 

 Add the spices and stir 15-20 seconds.

Add the tomato and Harissa paste, then add crushed tomatoes, olives and parsley. 

Fresh-laid eggs from our hens.

 After the sauce has thickened, add the eggs to the pan (use a spoon to create a well for each egg).

 Cover the pan and simmer over medium low heat 10-15 minutes or until the eggs have reached the desired doneness.

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