Shakshuka

September 29, 2009

No, that is not a keyboard mash. It is in fact the name of a classic middle-eastern dish (pronounced “shahk-shookah” with emphasis on the “oo”). It is an onomatopoetic word meaning “all mixed up”, and rightfully so.

Shakshuka:
Olive oil
Can of crushed tomatoes
1 Small yellow onion (Chopped)
Cumin
Turmeric
Chili Powder
Cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes (for spice)
Parsley flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

Eggs(one or two per person)

Warm up some olive oil in a deep saute pan that has a lid. Throw the onion in and saute till it becomes tender and just starts to brown. Dump in the can of crushed tomatoes and mix in with the onion. When the sauce starts to bubble, reduce the heat to medium.

Now comes the fun part. Start adding the spices. Shakshukah typically has a very strong cumin taste, so you will need a fair amount of it. BUT you can do it however you like. I tend to add quite a bit of cumin (a tbsp or two) and not quite as much, but still quite a bit of turmeric (maybe a tsp) and maybe the same amount of chili powder. The rest of the ingredients are purely to taste. If you like it with a little more heat, add more cayenne/red pepper flakes. If you don’t like it spicy, maybe just a little or none at all. As you add spices, make sure to taste the sauce. This is the ONLY way to know if you are adding enough spices (this goes for any and every recipe, no matter what! If you can, always taste as you progress).  Once you get it to a point where you like the way it tastes, cover let it sit and simmer for a bit.

After a few minutes of simmering, open up and make little wells in the sauce for the amount of eggs you’ll be adding. If you’re a fairly competent egg-cracker, then go ahead and crack the eggs straight into the sauce. If not, just crack the egg into a bowl, fish out all the shell bits, if necessary, and put into the sauce.  With all the eggs in place, just cover the pan. The whole idea is to poach the eggs in the sauce.  The eggs are ready when the yolk has a white film over it. Use a spoon to scoop out the egg and sauce on to plates and eat with pita and hummus. Good for lunch or a light dinner.

NOTE: Since I do not like peppers, I do not add them. However, if you do, you are welome to dice some peppers (red, hot, whatever) and throw them in along with the onion at the beginning of the recipe.

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