Not familiar with this weird-sounding dish? That’s ok; neither was I. Here’s a little history lesson. Shakshuka is a Middle Eastern dish that was introduced to the world by Tunisian Jews a long, long time ago and at its core consists of eggs poached in a spicy, oniony, cuminy, peppery tomato sauce. It’s ridiculously easy to make and after you try it you will never, ever want eggs any other way. That is not hyperbole folks. Consider this, I’m Jewish and I just tried it for the first time this year. Thinking of all the non-Shakshukaed Hanukkahs, Yom Kippurs, Rosh Hashanahs, seders, Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, breakfasts, lunches, and dinners spirals me down into such a deep, dark pit of despair that only the warm, loving embrace of Shakshuka can pull me out of it. That’s how good it is.
If you’re one of those people who need meticulous, in-depth, step-by-by step, hand-holding details for a recipe, just google it. I’m not one of those people so for the sauce I used a tetra-pak of stewed tomatoes (you shouldn’t buy canned anymore, carcinogens), about 2 tablespoons of tomato paste (I’m guestimating so just make sure to add it sparingly because you don’t want the sauce too thick), finely chopped onion, diced jalapeños, sliced garlic, red pepper flakes, cumin, turmeric, salt, Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute, and black pepper.
Once all your mise en place is done and you’re good to go put some oil in a pan and throw all the dry stuff in. Let all that goodness get the party started and marinate for a bit on medium heat. Once the onions start to sweat and your mouth starts to salivate add in the stewed tomatoes and the paste. Give all those ingredients some more time to mingle, maybe about 5 – 8 minutes.
Now comes the fun part, cracking the eggs on top. How many you use depends on the size of the vessel in which you are cracking them into. Just go by the no touching rule, as in you don’t want any of the yolks to really infringe upon another yolk’s personal space.
Once that’s done crank down the heat a skosh, cover it up, and wait. The degrees of skoshness and waiting times obviously vary depending on your cooktop so just keep an eye on it. A runny yolk is a beautiful thing and you wouldn’t want to ruin a perfectly good dish by overcooking your eggs.
*Tip: Use a cast iron skillet if you have one and don’t be afraid to get creative. I added some spicy italian sausage and kale to mine and it was awesome.
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