I don’t mean to take all my recipes from Smitten Kitchen.
Truly, I don’t. But Deb Perelman and I are kindred spirits. She makes beautiful food, and I fawn over it day in and day out (mostly via Facebook). And when it comes time to decide what I will share with you all next, I can’t help but to recall her latest post, or something I came across while lusting through her site, and feel the immediate need to make it.
Besides, what could be more perfect than Shakshuka? It is a meal that can satisfy at breakfast, brunch, lunch, (linner?) and dinner; a meal that has minimal ingredients and yet loads of flavor. This dish is so quick, easy and fulfilling that it may just take the place as my new go-to “I don’t want to think about what to make for dinner” meal. I will use it to impress new friends when they come over for brunch, and I will make extra sauce to use when I am feeling extra lazy after work, and just need a big bowl of pasta.
The recipe calls for 6 eggs to be added for poaching once the sauce is prepared. Because I was eating alone, I decided to break out my sadly neglected mini cast iron pan to create an individual serving. I put the oven on 425, spooned some of the sauce into the pan, cracked in a couple of eggs, and 5 minutes later it was ready. This way, I don’t have to worry about over cooking the eggs during the re-heating process. I can just go ahead and reheat the sauce before adding eggs and baking my own portion.
I must confess, I didn’t read the recipe exactly correct, which only made for one “mistake” - I used 5 jalapenos instead of just 3. Even still, the results were not even spicy. I think next time I will play around with the heat a little bit. Either with some dried chiles, or even just a few shakes of red pepper flakes. My threshold for spice is moderately high, and this definitely could have used a little more.
Shakshuka [Eggs Poached in Spicy Tomato Sauce]
1/4 cup olive oil
5 Anaheim chiles or 3 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
1 small yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed then sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
Kosher salt, to taste
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
Warm pitas, for serving
Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add chiles and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 6 minutes.
Meanwhile, put tomatoes and their liquid into a medium bowl and crush with your hands. Set aside.
Add garlic, cumin, and paprika, and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is soft, about 2 more minutes. Add crushed tomatoes and their liquid to skillet along with 1/2 cup water, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Season sauce with salt.
Crack eggs over sauce so that eggs are evenly distributed across sauce’s surface. Cover skillet and cook until yolks are just set, about 5 minutes. Using a spoon, baste the whites of the eggs with tomato mixture, being careful not to disturb the yolk. Sprinkle shakshuka with feta and parsley and serve with pitas, for dipping.