Give me eggs any time of day because they’re the ultimate comfort food.
In this one-skillet dish, eggs and colorful red and yellow peppers simmer on the stovetop in a spicy tomato sauce infused with cumin and smoked paprika. A sprinkling of salty feta and pitted olives perk up the dish.
Shakshuka is a healthy, hearty meal that works for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It’s an all-purpose kind of fast dish that’s guaranteed to brighten a chilly morning or ease the mad dash on a weeknight.
Shakshuka, a dish of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce, has its origins in North Africa. Still, it has migrated to the Middle East and is now pretty much known worldwide, especially in Israel, where it is practically a national specialty.
While many versions (like this one) have a tomato and pepper base, there are many variations. Add harissa to the sauce and serve a dollop of yogurt or labneh (labneh), a strained, thickened yogurt.
Make a minty tomato sauce with jalapeno for a change or skip the tomatoes and make a green shakshuka with herbs, greens, and cream. You could also make it with fresh summer vegetables and pesto-like this one. Other additions include artichokes, greens, cannellini beans, chickpeas, or even diced potatoes. The concept is open to improvisation, so go for it!
I prefer to use whole canned tomatoes rather than diced ones for this sauce, especially San Marzano tomatoes. They are usually bathed in a thick puree and break down quickly when you crush them. Here you are looking for a thick sauce with a soft texture, and whole tomatoes will get you there.
Diced tomatoes are packed in calcium chloride and thinner tomato juice, which helps them hold their shape. You can use them if that’s what you have on hand, but if you’re shopping specifically for this recipe, pick up a can of whole tomatoes for the best outcome.
Fresh tomatoes are an option but are prepared to peel them and cook them longer.
The goal is to cook the egg but leave the yolk runny. Many recipes advise popping the skillet in the oven, but I find that the eggs are too easy to overcook using that approach. I cook the eggs on the stove, not in the oven.
On the stovetop, you can check them without affecting the heat too much by cracking open the lid. Then, pull them off the heat at just the right moment, and you’re golden.
If you’re opposed to runny yolks, you can keep the lid on the skillet longer and cook the yolks all the way through.
The best way to serve the eggs is to bring the skillet right to the table. Be sure to have plenty of crusty bread or pita on hand to scoop up the juices.
For lunch or supper, make a simple green salad. I once ate it on a deck with an ocean view when visiting my Turkish friend on Martha’s Vineyard. Now that was memorable!
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the paprika, cumin, and pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds to a minute to bloom the spices.
Add the onion and cook, occasionally stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper, and yellow pepper and cook, occasionally stirring, for 15 minutes or until the vegetables soften.
In a bowl, break up the tomatoes with your hands. Add them to the skillet with the salt and cook for 5 minutes. Taste and add more salt, if you prefer.
Make four indentations in the sauce with the back of a spoon or a ladle.
Break an egg into a cup and carefully pour it into an indentation, careful not to break the yolk. Repeat with the remaining eggs. (You can crack the egg directly into the sauce and skip the cup, but it’s easier to get an errant eggshell or protect the dish from a rotten egg if you use the cup method.)
Sprinkle the feta and olives around the eggs. Cover the pan and simmer over medium heat for 8 minutes, or until the whites are set, and the yolks are still soft. (If you like your eggs well done, cook for a minute or two longer.)
Garnish with cilantro leaves and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes. Bring to the table and benefit from the pan.
If you like this recipe, then I would suggest that you should try this recipe too: Pickled Turnips Recipe
For more recipes, please pay a visit to this: Recipes