I’m not even going to get into all of the reasons why I haven’t posted since, ahem, before Thanksgiving.
They are myriad and I could go on about them all day, but that would just be burying the lede, which is to say: Shakshuka! Have you tried it? You really, really should.
We’ve been eating, and loving, shakshuka for years but I never bothered to write about it before because it has been all over the Internet for quite some time. I guess I figured most of you have already at least heard about this North African dish of eggs poached in smoky, spicy tomato sauce.
But I want this blog to be about the foods I’m excited to eat right now, so shakshuka it is.
A common breakfast dish in places like Israel and Tunisia, I especially like shakshuka for dinner. It retains a strong spot on my list of favorite cold weather comfort foods, is quick enough to pull off on a weeknight and reasonably healthy to boot.
I’ve seen lots of recipes for this homey dish, sometimes with the addition of red bell peppers, leafy greens or assorted other spices, and though I always mean to try them, I keep coming back to this simple version instead.
Paul and I used to eat this pretty regularly, but that more or less fell by the wayside after we discovered that E is allergic to eggs. Last weekend, however, we shipped the little guy off to his grandparents’ for the night and had a date night in, complete with a steaming bowl of spicy poached eggs, topped with lots of salty feta and a flurry of flat-leaf parsley.
Sure, there are more romantic menu options out there, but for sheer deliciousness on a chilly winter night, shakshuka is hard to beat.
Essentially eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce, shakshuka is perhaps my favorite breakfast-for-dinner meal.
Make sure to serve this with bread to mop up all the delicious sauce. Pitas are a traditional accompaniment, but I like pillowy challah bread best.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- one small yellow onion, chopped
- five Anaheim chilis or three jalapeños, stemmed, seeded and finely diced
- five cloves garlic, minced
- one tablespoon paprika
- one teaspoon cumin
- one 28-ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes
- salt to taste
- 6 large eggs
- 1/2 cup feta, crumbled
- 1/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped
- challah or pita, to serve
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and chili and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown. Add the garlic, paprika and cumin and cook for another minute or two.
Next, add the tomatoes and any juices to the pan, gently squeezing each tomato between your fingers first to break it into smaller pieces. Watch out for squirting tomato juice! Add about 1/2 cup of water to the pan, turn the heat down to medium and simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 10-15 minutes. Taste the sauce and add a little salt, if needed.
Crack the eggs into the pan, spacing them evenly, and cover the pan. Cook, covered, until the whites are cooked through and the yolks are just beginning to set, about five minutes.
Top with feta and parsley and serve with challah bread (my preference) or pitas.