Shakshuka

Shakshuka 2 Shakshuka

Ok. Where were we?

Recipes have been coming to me this month, the same ones jumping out like targets at a shooting gallery, daring me to make them. Before Christmas, my sister texted me a link to a recipe for shakshuka, eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce – an Israeli breakfast staple that’s similar to the Basque Eggs in Pipérade that blew my mind years ago and yet I don’t think I’ve managed to make since. It’s the sort of simple, inexpensive, easy-to-pull-together dish everyone should have in their repertoire to pull out on a busy weeknight. Wait, it is! In just about every other country in the world – just not so much around here.

Shakshuka 9 Shakshuka

Shakshuka 10 Shakshuka

This dish is French, and Italian, and Israeli, and Moroccan, and whatever you want it to be, because eggs are universal, as are tomatoes and chilies. It’s a perfect example of a bunch of humble ingredients – things most people have on hand or at least can afford – transforming into something far better than the sum of its parts. Further internet digging came up with formulas made with chili, coriander and cherry tomatoes, others with chickpeas. It would be fab with a crumbled sausage, or with a ratatouille-esque mosh of summer tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant. For now, it was perfect with onion, chilies and a can of good Italian tomatoes – whole, packed in tomato puree.

Shakshuka 11 Shakshuka

Shakshuka 12 Shakshuka

Bash the tomatoes up with a spoon as they simmer with the onion, chilies and spices, and when the lot is nice and thick, you crack in some eggs and let them simmer.

Shakshuka 8 Shakshuka

Shakshuka 3 Shakshuka

In the past couple weeks, I’ve stumbled across it at the Kitchn, and SmittenKitchen, and then when a delicious looking new cookbook arrived in the mail, I opened it up to a page with shakshuka on it. Coincidence? Probably. But I couldn’t ignore so many clear reminders.

Shakshuka 6 Shakshuka

Shakshuka 7 Shakshuka

A smattering of salty feta totally makes it – I imagine goat cheese would be worth a try, too. Most of the recipes I came across suggest pitas for serving, but I urge you not to take your bread decision lightly – the bread is an instrumental element of this meal. It’s made for those of us who love to mop up our plates with good bread – the entire dish is designed for scooping and swiping. So to settle for thin, perhaps stale bread would be a disservice to yourself and the shakshuka. I had just made a crusty no-knead bread, with chewy nooks and crannies perfect for grabbing the spicy sauce. I imagine some soft naan could pinch hit with great success.

Shakshuka 5 Shakshuka

Shakshuka

a good glug of olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 28 oz. (796 mL) can whole tomatoes, preferably in tomato puree
salt and pepper
4-6 eggs
1/2 cup crumbled feta

In a large, heavy skillet or shallow pot, heat a generous drizzle of oil and saute the onion and jalapeños for a few minutes, until soft. Add the garlic, paprika, chili powder and cumin and cook, stirring, for another minute or two. Add the tomatoes (I add some water to the can, swish it around and add it too to get all that tomato goodness), season with salt and pepper and cook, breaking the tomatoes up with a spoon, until the mixture simmers and thickens.

Let the mixture thicken until it has the consistency of tomato sauce you’d put on pasta. (Go even thicker, if you like.) When it’s at an even simmer, make 4-8 little dents with a spoon in the surface of the sauce and crack an egg into each. Cover the pot and simmer until the egg whites are opaque but the yolks are still soft – cook them to your liking, really. Serve hot, with good soft bread or toast. Serves 4-6.

pixel Shakshuka
button print gry20 Shakshuka

January 04 2013 10:30 pm | breakfast and one dish and vegetarian

16 Responses to “Shakshuka”

  1. Sue.D on 04 Jan 2013 at 10:55 pm #

    Ok, YUM. Making this for lunch and possibly dinner as well tomorrow.

    Looks marvelous, and I always love an excuse to eat eggs for dinner!

  2. tara on 05 Jan 2013 at 6:38 am #

    GORGEOUS! Eggs and tomatoes and chiles are indeed universal, and with good reason. I think you’re right about the feta, and I can’t wait to try it for myself. Happy new year, friend.

  3. Nicole on 05 Jan 2013 at 10:03 am #

    I don’t love eggs, but this looks pretty darn tempting. And your bread looks amazing!

  4. emmycooks on 05 Jan 2013 at 11:39 am #

    This dish is one of my favorites. Your photo is so mouthwatering that I might have to make it today!

  5. Meta4 on 05 Jan 2013 at 11:45 am #

    I will make this and add a can of beans as well.

  6. Florence on 05 Jan 2013 at 12:41 pm #

    One of my favorite breakfasts! Glad to see it as part of your repertoire too. :-)

  7. Jaya on 05 Jan 2013 at 1:40 pm #

    Julie, I’ve been wanting to make shakshuka for years, and this is exactly the kick in the pants I need! Looks delectable!

  8. Jan @ Family Bites on 06 Jan 2013 at 7:38 am #

    Nice! What a perfectly rustic weeknight dinner, and anything with eggs and bread is always a winner in my book.

  9. Hillary on 06 Jan 2013 at 1:43 pm #

    Bookmarked, for certain. Love the way that the eggs almost look like little dumplings in that final pic. A testament to the perfection that is eggs outside of breakfast!

  10. rose on 06 Jan 2013 at 10:42 pm #

    Hi Julie

    I am making this dish! Never heard of shakshuka before. I’m again on plan for Weight Watchers and will just have to reduce the olive oil and leave out the feta for this to be on WW’s plan!

    Wish me luck…..I have a goal to be in a certain outfit six months from today..

    Rose

  11. sippitysup on 07 Jan 2013 at 7:11 pm #

    One of my favs! GREG

  12. Misty on 20 Jan 2013 at 3:48 pm #

    We had this for dinner last night and it is a winner!

  13. Laura on 20 Jan 2013 at 10:09 pm #

    YUM. I love all the variations on this dish. I am going to go check out all your links now!

  14. Jane on 30 Mar 2013 at 11:53 am #

    Been wanting to make this since I first saw this post. Today was the day, and it was delicious, as with everything else on your blog! Thanks Julie!

  15. Baking Sheet Mac & Cheese » Dinner With Julie on 11 Apr 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    [...] a good chance that if she texts me something, it will show up on the dinner table. (See: Shakshuka.) She always comes up with good finds – I should have her curate DwJ on the [...]

  16. Voula Martin on 11 Apr 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    I finally got around to making this (I put it on top of your sandwich bread http://dinnerwithjulie.com/2012/03/04/julia-childs-white-sandwich-bread/) and I am now sitting here full but my mouth is still watering for more. YUM!

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply