Shaking Up Sundays with Shakshuka

 

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?

-Aheli

*Before 10- bad, after 10:30- mildly acceptable

** Not a paid advertisement, I’m just obsessed

SIMPLE SHAKSHUKA

Time: 30-45 minutes

Difficulty: Easy to Medium

IMG_0372

Ingredients:

  • 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.

Tools:

  • Carbon steel or a cast iron pan (8 inch+)
  • Pan Cover
  • Oven Mitts
  • Clamps
  • Masher optional
  • Plate and Paper Towel

(Updated) Steps:

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Add the hard vegetables: onion, bell pepper and zucchini and cook until semi-soft (5 minutes).
  3. Stir in garlic to coat the vegetables.
  4. Add tomatoes (juice, pulp and all) and smash in the pan. It will be verrrrrry juicy
  5. Add in the spices: cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper.
  6. 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.
  7. Crack eggs into skilled. Use a spoon to create little “nests” for the eggs using the veggies & tomatoes.
  8. Cover pan (or option to stick in an oven at 375 degrees) and cook until eggs are set.
  9. Sprinkle with cilantro, douse in hot sauce and devour.

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