Shakshouka Eggs

My friend Rick told me the spicy tomato and egg dish I concocted for brunch a couple of weeks ago resembled a famous Israeli breakfast – Shakshouka Eggs.

Intrigued, I Googled, read up on it, and set about turning my messy concoction into a shakshouka.

Apparently this dish is Tunisian in origin and, get this, some historians reckon it was invented during the Ottoman Empire. I think that may have been a very long time ago, so I was pleased to keep the tradition going strong for those guys. I found a really good recipe on Smitten Kitchen, one of my favourite food blogs, and got to work.

A few tweaks to the original concoction would hopefully take this breakfast to the next level.

What you need:

Red onion
Green pepper if you fancy
Olive oil
Tin of good tomatoes (enough for two people)
Chili of your choice
3 cloves of finely chopped garlic
Tsp of cumin
Tbsp of paprika
4 free-range eggs
Feta cheese
Parsley (but I didn’t have any)

Here’s what I did:
I diced up a red onion, cut up two little chilli peppers (seeds and all) and fried on a medium heat in a large frying pan, in a healthy dose (1/4 cup) of olive oil, for five mins. You can add green peppers too if you fancy but I didn’t have any. Then I added the garlic with a teaspoon of cumin, a tablespoon of paprika, and a shake of garlic pepper, and cooked for another minute or two before adding the tomatoes – which I had poured into a bowl before hand and smushed with my (clean) hands to make smooth.

I left it all to simmer on a low heat for 15 or so minutes. Then I cracked four eggs on to the surface of the tomatoes. Using a little spoon, I poured tomato mixture over the eggs white, but not the yolks, to help them cook and become all delicious. I then placed a plate over the mixture – ‘cos I didn’t have a lid for the frying pan – and left too cook for 5 mins before checking on the eggs. When the whites were done and the yolks were cooked but still runny, I sprinkled feta cheese over the mixture.

Then I served with buttered bread, a splash of Tabasco sauce, and a coffee. And it was really pretty delicious. The cumin, paprika, and feta – and the new way of tending to the eggs – made a MASSIVE difference to this.

Cheers, Rick.

Shakshouka Eggs stats:

Kitchen cock-ups: I could probably have gone a bit easier on the chilli. The mixture was pretty fiery when I tasted it mid-cooking. So I used a tip from Nigella and added a tsp of sugar to quell the fire. Other than that, this was pretty plain sailing. Oh, and spelling Shakshouka Shukshouka in first draft of this blog. Soz.

Listened to: Benjamin Francis Leftwich’s Last Smoke Before The Snowstorm. Bit twee but pretty for cooking to.


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