Friday, June 22, 2012

Shakshouka

I never understood what the big deal was with shakshouka - a tradition middle eastern dish of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce. It seems like a staple on every breakfast buffet, from the watery sauce to the over-cooked eggs.

Then my friend Tzippy took me to Shvil Izzim restaurant. We shared (among other things) the best shakshuka I've ever had. Sweet bell peppers in a flavorful sauce with fresh tomatoes and not too much spice. And the eggs! Not the baked-to-death eggs I'd experienced in my previous shakshouka history. Delicate, gently poached, with rich, runny yolks!  And, of course, fresh bread to soak up all that rich tomato-y goodness. (See my post on Shvil Izzim and my photo restaurant review on Facebook.)

When I saw heaping piles of brightly colored, inexpensive peppers on sale, I immediately had an itch to recreate this traditional dish.  Shakshuka is the perfect nonrecipe meal. You make it how you like it. I didn't use a recipe and I didn't have an Israeli (or Algerian or Tunisian) grandma to teach me how to make it. But whatever I did, it was yummy AND EASY!

First, a confession: I didn't use fresh tomatoes. Tomatoes are in season and so delicious. No matter how many I buy they get gobbled up! So, I didn't have any left by dinner time. You can definitely use fresh tomatoes, but starting with a base of pre-cooked tomato sauce is also a valid short cut.

Here's what I used:
  • 3-4 orange bell peppers
  • 1-2 green peppers
  • 2 onions
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 finely chopped chili pepper (no seeds)
  • 1-2 small packages of tomato sauce (no sugar added)
  • tomato paste (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • mushrooms (optional)
  • 5-6 eggs
optional spices:
  • more chili pepper, cumin, coriander...
  • I also put fresh chopped basil in near the end with more on top
  1. Chop and gently fry all fresh vegetables.
  2. Season to taste and add any pre-cooked tomato products.
  3. Simmer until sauce is to your liking.
  4. GENTLY drop raw eggs into the hot sauce and cover.
  5. Cook for a few minutes, just until the top of the eggs turns almost opaque white.
Enjoy with fresh bread (or matza) and a lots of family.


3 comments:

  1. Hi,

    your link to Shvil Izzim restaurant was not correct. Would you mind fixing the link if you have one

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I linked to my post on Shvil Izzim. I edited the post so that is clearer. Here is a link to information about the restaurant. http://www.israel-tours-hotel.com/id/Shvil-Izim-Dairy-Restaurant

      Delete
  2. Dang darn! I love this food recipe. I'll eat it until the cows come home.

    ReplyDelete

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