Hi guys! Quick post today so I can tell you about my latest obsession: shakshuka. It’s kind of a round-the-clock dish, just as appropriate for breakfast as it is dinner… which is how we’ve been enjoying it in our household. All three meals of the day, that it is.
A little bit of background, shakshuka is North African in origin, and it means ‘mixture’ in Arabic (thanks Wiki). And that it is. It’s essentially an egg dish, but it’s got a whole mess of tastes and textures to fill out all its nooks and crannies: slippery onion and bell pepper, a spicy and fragrant tomato sauce, salty briny crumbly feta, the cleanness of fresh scattered cilantro leaves. And to top it all off, barely-set eggs that tumble into puddles of yolk when prodded. Doesn’t that sound amazing? To me, it’s a dream.
A couple other items of note: our cast-iron skillet is monstrous in size and has a permanent place on the stovetop because it’s too big to go anywhere else. My efforts always feel so dwarfed by it—like I should be preparing dinner for six rather than dinner for two. This recipe, then, is perfectly-sized. And you’ll want to use your extra-large skillet so you too can make an extra-large batch to enjoy for multiple meals.
Also, for those of you who are, like me, efficiency nazis, I LOVE how easy this dish is to prepare! It’s one of those one-pot meals that Deb often extols. I totally get her. Even if I don’t do the dishes, I am a huge fan of the simplicity of One-Pots (deserving of capitalization, I think). They’re a whole class of recipes in themselves.
Alright, well, I feel awkward for checking out so abruptly, but… have great rests of the week and let’s re-convene next week, sound good?
Oh, before I forget, I wanted to tell you all about the nonfiction book club I’ll be helping moderate! Check it out! It’s headed by lovely Eva over at Adventures in Cooking, and the other moderators are Carrie, Izy, and Brianne. A fabulous group, right? The first book we’ll be tackling is The Disappearing Spoon, starting next week. Come join us! It’ll be fun.
Adapted from Melissa Clark for the New York Times
serves 4 to 6
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, sliced thinly
1 large bell pepper, deseeded and sliced thinly
3 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes with juices
salt and pepper to taste
1-1/4 to 1-1/2 cups crumbled feta
6 large eggs
cilantro, hot sauce, pita bread (or any bread really), hummus for serving
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and bell peppers, and cook until very soft, about 20 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so until fragrant, then stir in the spices. Cook another minute, then pour in the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, and let simmer for about 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Stir in the feta cheese.
Gently crack in the eggs evenly around the pan over the sauce. Top them with a little more salt and pepper, then simmer until the eggs are just set, about 10 minutes. Serve with lots of pita bread to mop up the sauce.