Monday, July 1, 2013

Samantha's Shakshuka

Samantha's Shakshuka (otherwise known as poached eggs in tomato sauce)

Shakshuka is a flavorful and rich dish eaten in North Africa, Israel, Iran and other Middle Eastern countries (though it has different names and varieties). It's usually eaten for breakfast, but I prefer it for a light dinner or lunch. The great thing about this dish is you can individualize it as much as you like. The basics are tomatoes, onions, peppers, cumin, garlic, water, salt, pepper and eggs. Other than that, it's up to you. You can add paprika, or sometimes I cook it with a dried pepper like chipotle to give it a smokey kick. You can add hot sauce or whatever herbs you like. I personally use green peppers as that's the way they do it in Northern Africa, but in Israel they often use more tomatoes and red peppers. It's very versatile.
1 green pepper (diced)
1 yellow onion (diced)
2 tomatoes, I prefer plum but it's up to you (large dice)
1/4 cup water (more as needed)
3 eggs
2 gloves garlic (chopped)
2 tbs olive oil (feel free to add more or less depending on your preferences)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp cumin (feel free to add more)
1 tsp paprika (if you like)
1. heat pan and add olive oil

2. once olive oil is hot, saute the peppers and onions over medium heat for about ten minutes until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic after about 5 minutes, you don't want it to brown.
3. Add the tomatoes, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Saute for about a minute and then add the water. Cover the pan and let cook for about 5 minutes. Add more water if it gets dry.
4. Once the veggies have cooked down a bit and look a little saucy, crack the eggs into the sauce. It helps to make indents in the sauce and crack the eggs into each indent. You want to keep them separate.
5. Add a little salt and pepper and cover. You are basically steaming the eggs in the tomato sauce. I cook them until the yellow's are slightly cooked, I'm not into runny eggs. That's about 10 minutes. Feel free to cook them as much or as little as you like.
6. Serve on it's own, with a side salad, pita or bread. Add chopped herbs at the end (cilantro is a good match).


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