shakshuka

In an effort to share more of our very most every day meals, the ones I throw together with whatever’s left in the fridge, or the staples I can make with my eyes half closed at the end of a long day, I’ve started posting occasional short, simple posts just about these meals.  I call it vær så god, Norwegian for “bon appetit.”

“Do you shakshuka??”  I don’t know how it started, but I say this to myself every single time I make shakshuka, and then I giggle like I’ve just come up with something really original and hilarious.  Every time!  And it still makes me giggle.  Which is an impressive feat since I make shakshuka virtually on a weekly basis.

But that does bring me to the question: do you shakshuka?  If you do, good.  Keep at it.  If you don’t, you should!  Shakshuka is a Middle Eastern – particularly Israeli, I believe – dish of eggs poached in a complex, spicy tomato sauce, sometimes with other vegetables too, but it doesn’t have to be.  Shakshuka has gotten a decent amount of press in cookbooks, newspapers, and magazines over the past several years, and I don’t know that I have anything new to add to all of those compiled reflections on this simple, and simply fantastic, egg dish.  Just to say, you can make it as simple or as complicated as you wish, and if you wish simple, then all you need is 15 or so minutes to get a meal on the table.

Because, if you believe you can have eggs as the centerpiece of dinner, and let me assure you, you can! then this makes a perfect speedy and wholesome midweek meal, just add a simple green salad and/or a hunk of crusty bread for mopping up the leftover tomato juice pooled with runny egg that gathers in the bottom of your bowl, and which is pretty much the best part of the meal.

You can also make shakshuka for breakfast or lunch, and believe me, I do!  If I’m making it for breakfast, I often go absurdly simple and don’t even fry up an onion (and if I’m barely awake, which definitely happens sometimes, I don’t even use garlic, I just saute the spices in oil and dump in the eggs, and it’s still really good).  Some people sprinkle their shakshuka with feta, but I prefer to plop spoonfuls of plain yogurt over mine.  The yogurt is smooth and cooling against the warm tomato, and you have no idea how good yogurt is next to a runny egg until you’ve tried it.  So try it!

Vær så god!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Speedy Shakshuka
 
Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper or small eggplant, chopped into small pieces (optional, but recommended)
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • a big pinch of ground coriander
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper (use more or less depending on how spicy you like things)
  • 1, 14-oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 4 eggs
  • salt and pepper
  • plain yogurt for garnish
Instructions
  1. If you're using an eggplant, fry this separately first over medium heat until all of the pieces are softened. Sprinkle with salt and set aside. If not using eggplant, skip this step!
  2. In a frying pan that is small (about 9 or 10 inch diameter), but has high sides, heat the 2 Tbs. olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and the sliced bell pepper (if using). Cook, stirring, until the onion (and pepper) has softened, about 6 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic, cumin, paprika, coriander, and cayenne and cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant, then add the canned tomatoes and their juices along with a big pinch of salt and stir well (if you're using eggplant, add the cooked eggplant at this point as well). Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the tomatoes are well spiced and slightly sweetened.
  4. Crack the eggs over the tomato mixture so they are evenly spaced and sprinkle each egg with salt and pepper. Cover the pan again and cook until the eggs have set but the yolks are still wobbly and runny, about 5 minutes.
  5. Divide the eggs and tomato sauce between 2 or 4 shallow bowls, transferring the eggs carefully so they don't break in the process. Dot each bowl with a few spoonfuls of plain yogurt (Greek style or regular both work, though I tend to use the Greek style). If it's dinner, serve accompanied with a green salad, and some good bread, if you wish.

 

 

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27 Responses to Speedy Shakshuka

  1. Perfect! It’s what’s going to be served for supper tonight. I even happen to have eggplant in the fridge. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Mimi says:

    I laugh at my own food jokes all the time! We’re in good company! Great looking shakshuka!

  3. Don’t you love it when delicious meals can be made in a matter of minutes? I was surprised last week to discover that the Bergen fish soup I was making could be cooked in less than half an hour (probably including prep!), making an elegant meal rather doable for a weeknight.

    Also, I just want to say that I enjoy reading your blog. I read a lot of them, and yours is on the Top list. I realized though that I shouldn’t just enjoy your blog, I should let you know that I do! Good work.

    • Emily says:

      Thank you so very much Daytona! That’s very kind of you! Also, I loooove Bergensk fiske suppe. Such a great comfort food. 🙂

  4. Sophie says:

    Yes! I do shakshuka, and I love it. I actually tried making it for the first time recently and I may have used too heavy a hand on the many toasted spices after compiling three or so different recipes into one. Everyone ate very quietly. I loved it, however. The first time I tried it was in New York and I have been dreaming of it ever since. Since my version took two hours, thanks for this simple process to get it on the table! Can’t wait to make it again, soon! Beautiful photograph.

  5. I don’t shakshuka, but I shall! Looks delicious. It reminds me of Italian peperonata but with Middle Eastern spices. Yum!

  6. anthony says:

    I nominated you for the versatile blogger award , check it out:
    http://sexycuisine.wordpress.com/2013/06/01/thank-you-rileysrandomreview/

    • Emily says:

      Thank you! I no longer accept these sorts of blogger nominations – not enough time – but I do truly appreciate it and am very flattered.

  7. Well, I must admit I haver never done Shakshuka…but that may very well change in the near future. Thanks – I will try it!

  8. Wonderful dish! And yes, I shakshuka quite often as well ;-). The idea of yoghurt to serve with is new to me – sounds delicious.

    I like your idea of posting some everyday treats time and again. Very often, it’s not the high-end cooking that makes our day but the quick yet delicious and home-made treat after a long day of work, isn’t it?

  9. My kind of dish…wonderful.

  10. Oh yeah! Definitely one of my go-to dinners eggs poached in fresh tomato sauce I usually do a bed of fresh spinach underneath that gets wilted as eggs cook.

  11. Julie says:

    This was so delicious & easy! Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

  12. Martine says:

    I love shakshuka. I make a Chesapeake-region variant by using Old Bay to season it, which probably only makes sense to Marylanders.

    Yours looks great, I love the use of eggplant!

    • Emily says:

      What an interesting variation! I never keep Old Bay around, but you make me want to get some just to try it on shakshuka!

  13. Donna says:

    Two questions…do you prefer this marvel with the red pepper or eggplant (or both?)…and if opting for the eggplant version….do you fry them in an oil or “dry” fry the slices prior to salting?

    This looks amazing…and the idea of a spinach “bed” from a reader is delightful as well!

    • Emily says:

      I really like both variations. Whether I want pepper or eggplant kind of depends on my mood! When I use eggplant I do fry it in oil first.

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