Confession time: I’m not a breakfast person. In the morning, I like to have about five cups of tea and wait until I’m absolutely starving before I check the clock to see if it is socially acceptable* to have lunch. Usually it’s not so I scrounge around for some cereal or if I’m feeling fancy, I’ll boil some eggs and sprinkled with Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel seasoning**.
The problem is I don’t like typical breakfast foods. Everything is either too sweet, egg-y or worse dairy filled aka tasty but terrible my lactose intolerant body. So imagine my surprise, when back in February, I had the best breakfast of my life at a dear friend’s place and spent the next five months trying to recreate all the magical perfection.
For those of you new to Shakshuka– it’s a delicious Middle Eastern poached egg dish made in a saucy tomato broth. To me this is the perfect thing to make- it looks very fancy but is deceptively easy to make. The trick is to add some thick cut salty type of meat- bacon, pancetta- before your add the tomato. It will really enhance the flavor and keep it for being hyped up tomato sauce. If you’re a vegetarian- skip the meat, but put some extra salt on those veggies.
What are your favorite brunch foods?
*Before 10- bad, after 10:30- mildly acceptable
** Not a paid advertisement, I’m just obsessed
Time: 30-45 minutes
Difficulty: Easy to Medium
- 3 Tablespoons EVOO or ghee
- 1 medium white onion chopped
- 2 bell peppers (green or orange)
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 large can San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon cumin*
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Cayenne or red chili flakes to taste
- Option 1: Zucchini (Vegan)
- Option 2: 5 oz Feta Cheese (Vegetarian)
- Option 3: 2 piece Thick Cut Bacon/Pancetta strips per person
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1-2 eggs per person (depending on pan size)
- Chopped Cilantro for serving
- Hot Sauce for serving
- Bread for serving ( I heart sourdough)
*Recently I used roasted ground cumin and it was a game changer. Just dry-pan roast cumin powder for an extra developed taste.
- Carbon steel or a cast iron pan (8 inch+)
- Pan Cover
- Oven Mitts
- Masher optional
- Plate and Paper Towel
Disclosure: Shakshuka can be a wonderful vegetarian meal with lots of vegetables and crumbly salty cheese. Since I’m lactose intolerant, I substituted feta cheese for bacon. If your veg, simply eliminate the bacon steps and add 2-3 teaspoons of EV Olive Oil or Ghee. If you’re vegan, eliminate the bacon and cheese, cry a bit, and add a LOT of salt.
- Cut long bacon strips into four separate pieces (you’ll end up with about twelve 1 inch long pieces). Fry for about 8 minutes or until bacon is crispy and the pan is coated with bacon grease. (If you plan on baking your eggs, turn oven to 375 degrees). Remove bacon strips to a plate and cover with a paper towel to remove excess grease. Leave cooked bacon fat in pan.
- Add the hard vegetables: onion, bell pepper and zucchini and cook until semi-soft (5 minutes).
- Stir in garlic to coat the vegetables.
- Add tomatoes (juice, pulp and all) and smash in the pan. It will be verrrrrry juicy
- Add in the spices: cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper.
- Simmer until the tomatoes have thickened (10 minutes). At this point, taste the sauce to ensure the right balance of cumin/parika and spice. If the sauce is too “tangy”- add some sugar. If it’s too spicy- add a fresh cut tomato.
- Crack eggs into skilled. Use a spoon to create little “nests” for the eggs using the veggies & tomatoes.
- Cover pan (or option to stick in an oven at 375 degrees) and cook until eggs are set.
- Sprinkle with cilantro, douse in hot sauce and devour.