Shakshouka, according to all-knowing Wikipedia, is a north African dish (though many Middle Eastern countries like to claim it as their own) where the general idea is to poach eggs in a spicy tomato sauce. It is so easy and sooo delicious. It’s traditionally a breakfast dish but we make it for a Sunday meal or even for a dinner party I’m having later this week. The effort is minimal and payoff is huge. So how do you make this easy dish?
This is enough for 6 for brunch or 4 for dinner. You will need:
6 long green peppers, roughly chopped with about half the seeds scraped out. (I realize that this is not very descriptive but the peppers I bought literally had no label. If you don’t like spicy, and these are not very spicy, you can use bell peppers)
1 tablespoon of EVOO
1 white onion roughly chopped
1 teaspoon hot chilli powder
6 cloves of garlic, minced or a couple teaspoons of lazy garlic
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cans of whole tomato, drained of most of the liquid
salt to taste
a handful of parsley
1/2 a cup of haloumi cheese, cubed
black pepper to taste
1 pita bread per person
First, preheat the oven to the broil setting on the highest setting, this is to quickly brown the pita before eating. Put your roughly chopped peppers and onions into a food processor and give it a quick wizz. I like to do this because I like my shakshouka smooth-ish. If you want, instead you can just give them a very fine chop with your knife. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat, I used my 3 quart Le Creuset sauce pan. Add the pepper/onion mixture and cook for about 5 minutes. While the onion/peppers are cooking, squeeze the whole tomatoes with your hands or smash them up with a spoon. Remember to drain most but not all of the liquid from the cans. Add garlic, cumin, paprika, and chili powder to the pan. Mix it around, letting the garlic cook for a minute and then add the tomatoes. If it is too dry at this point and back in some water, shakshouka should be thick. Let the whole mixture simmer for about 10 or 15 minutes. Add salt until it tastes right to you, I went with about a teaspoon. When you’re happy with the consistency crack the eggs in. I put five in a circle around the pan and one in the middle. Remember you are poaching the eggs, so after you drop them in there is no stirring since you can’t break the yolks. Cover the pan and let cook until the eggs are finished.
While the eggs are cooking, drip some olive oil and minced garlic on the pita breads and put them under the broiler for a minute. After the shakshouka is finished, sprinkle the haloumi, parsley and black pepper over the top. Serve 1 egg per person with pita to mop up the sauce.