Shakshuka

Posted: October 12, 2013 in brunch, Middle Eastern

Being a classic introvert who grew up in a loud household, I tend to be attracted to bright, loud extroverts in my love life and friendships. One of my friends has a delightful way of announcing her subconscious references and assuming you’ll get her drift, even if it’s not a cross-cultural one. She once surprised a friend of mine when she walked out of a big dinner, holding her full belly, moaning, “Ohhhh..I’m pregnant with a food baby….” Long before I knew that Shakshuka was a breakfast food, she told me about the Turkish song “Shakshuka” that she found so funny and made me watch. I laughed, but I laughed because I was so delighted by her energy, her life, and the fact that she was showing me a video that did not translate to anything for me.

shakshuka

Since then, I’ve actually had shakshuka  and I’ve made the dish several times. Frankly, it’s the only dish that is inspiring me to buy a cast iron skillet because it’s so rustic-looking with it. I’ve tried it with different spices every time, but David Lebowitz makes my favorite iteration of it.  I just removed some of the spices, since I didn’t have all of them in my kitchen.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika, smoked or sweet
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed, or 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 Can diced tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf, crushed
  • 3 eggs

(2 servings)

Heat the olive oil in a pan, and saute the onion, garlic, and red pepper in it. Toss with the spices and cover for three minutes on medium heat.. Add crushed bay leaf and the tomatoes. Create small holes for the eggs. Crack four eggs into the holes and cover again,  until the egg whites have hardened. Serve.

** The eggs are traditionally made sunny side up, but I’ve also seen them cooked into the tomato sauce, as though scrambled, since some people don’t like runny eggs.

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