Shakshuka!

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I haven’t posted in a month, but the cooking sure didn’t stop.  Some healthy and nostalgic dishes I whipped up to help eat better during a busy tax deadline on my job.  I’ve also been testing and cooking new and seasonal recipes.  A costly practice but necessary for me to understand recipe development – from conception to consumption.  Have you ever followed the instructions to a recipe before and it didn’t come out right?  But anyway, that’s a topic for another time.  One dish I cooked over October was Shakshuka.  I’ve seen pictures of it on social media and thought nothing of it until a conversation with a friend one early Saturday afternoon, after a trip to the green market.  Sitting at my tiny kitchen nook we ate omelets made with grated Manchego cheese and sauteed brussel sprouts tops or leaves (my new green leafy obsession).  She mentioned how good Shakshuka, a North African dish of poached eggs in spicy tomatoes sauce taste.

That’s all it takes sometimes for me to get on board with food treads: the origin of the dish, combination and accessibility of ingredients and the fact I can have it for my beloved ‘brunch at home’.  I’m sold!

Notes

– Vegetarian friendly
– There are great YouTube videos that give directions to make this dish.
– A cast iron pan works perfect to cook the dish in the oven evenly, but if you don’t have one, a saute pan would do the trick.  Make sure the cast iron pan is seasoned well so the acidity of the tomatoes don’t react with the iron.
– One ingredient of this dish is cumin and seeing I always have Geera on hand I used this variation to aid in giving the tomato sauce a deep color and a smoky taste.
– I used canned whole San Marzano tomatoes then roughly crushed them in the cast iron pan as they cooked.
– Eaten with grits made with course grounded yellow corn I made the Shakshuka saucier, but you can make using one can of tomatoes.
– For a bit of crunch, I topped with a 1/2 cup of toasted, unsalted pumpkin seeds.

3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 large yellow Onions, sliced
1 Habanero pepper, sliced
5 Garlic cloves, smashed
2 stalks of Scallions, small chop
1 1/2 (28 0z) cans of whole peeled San Marzano Tomatoes
1 Bay leaf
1 Tbsp. of Brown Sugar
1 ½ Tbsp. sweet Hungarian Paprika
1 ½ Tbsp. Geera
½ tsp ground Black Pepper
½ Tbsp. Kosher Salt
6 large Eggs

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and saute over medium heat until translucent, then add the garlic and peppers.  Cook just until softened for 3 to 5 minutes.  Add the paprika and cumin and cook for about 1 minute before slowly stirring in the tomatoes.  Crushing the whole tomatoes as you stir, add the salt, pepper, scallions, bay leaves and brown sugar.  Allow to cook for another 2 minutes.  Crack the eggs into the tomato mixture. Bake in a 375 degree oven for approximately 10 minutes or until the whites of the eggs are no longer translucent.  Serve hot.

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