When we lived in Brooklyn, we were very spoiled by our proximity to Mimi’s Hummus, a place that specialized in middle eastern cuisine, from Israeli to Iraqi, and, of course, hummus. The hummus there was the best we’ve ever had. They even delivered to our apartment! As a result, our eating horizons expanded a lot. One of the things we discovered there was Shakshuka, a dish of spicy sauce and eggs. According to wikipedia, Shakshuka comes from Tunisa and is spelled Shakshouka. Since neither of those spellings is in Arabic, I'll assume both are fine.
However you spell it, we liked it, and looked for a recipe to make it ourselves. Our recipe is based on the first we stumbled upon, over at Smitten Kitchen. It turned out easier to make than we thought. One pan, healthy, easy, and even vegetarian. You could make it vegan if you omitted the eggs, cheese and pitas, but I wouldn't recommend it. Not to pat ourselves on the back too much, but I like our homemade version more than what we used to get from Mimi's. What I'm saying here is that you should try it.
Peppers are one of the major components of this recipe, and as luck would have it, our jalapeno plant was one of the ones that did best this summer. Perhaps the title of this post should be "Locally Sourced Shakshuka."
So let’s make some food! Start by chopping up a bunch of veggies.
Your jalapenos… (you can substitute whatever you’ve got available - anaheim chiles, cherry peppers, etc..)
Five (or more!) cloves of garlic...
Then we measure out some cumin and paprika…
Open a 28oz can of crushed tomatoes and we’re ready to apply heat.
Add some oil to your pan, and when it’s warm, onion and peppers go in. As always, don’t forget to salt and pepper.
Let those go until soft and brown, then add the spices and garlic.
Once you can really smell the spice and garlic, which should only take a few minutes, you add the tomatoes and about ½ a can of water.
Partially cover and let simmer for half an hour or so until it has thickened nicely. Beware that this will potentially spit red sauce all over your oven and make your spouse mad, so do the covering carefully and clean up after yourself.
Next up, drop four eggs in and continue to simmer until they are just barely done - they are best when the yolk is still runny. If you wanted to save some and freeze it, before you drop the eggs in is the time to set some aside.
Once your eggs are set, dish them up, garnish with feta and serve with pita on the side. We haven’t yet found pitas we really like in Buffalo, so some good bread will do in a pinch.
3 jalapenos or other peppers, chopped and seeded (vary this depending on your spice preference)
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp paprika
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
Pitas or bread
Saute the onion and peppers in a deep pan with olive oil until soft and browned, then add the cumin, paprika and garlic. Once the garlic and spices are aromatic, add the tomatoes and bring to a partially covered simmer. Allow to simmer for a half hour or until it has thickened. Add the eggs and continue to simmer until they are just set. Serve garnished with the feta and with the pitas on the side.
Note: We usually eat two eggs per person, but a batch this size can easily do six eggs and feed three (we always have some leftovers.) It also scales very nicely, so if you wanted to half it or double it, I doubt you would have any issues.
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