Shakshuka!

Without getting political, this dish originated in and around North Africa. It has some really good flavours and would make for some serious brinner game. I made it for Christmas brunch to follow those tasty aforementioned muffins. This thing has some really nice flavours. It requires a little bit more prepping than the recipes I usually tend to make, but it was easy work.

Because I’m sure many of you are wondering what the hell a shakshuka actually is, I’ll start with a photo.IMG_0248.jpg

Here’s my little slice of shakshuka pre-cilantro sprinkling. It’s a delicious combo of sautéed onions, peppers, garlic and spices, before adding feta, canned tomato and eggs.

The recipe is from the NY Times (of course! my favourite!) and can be found HERE!! So. Basic instructions: Preheat your oven to 375F and start with one onion, halved and thinly sliced. Ever wondered why it’s written that way? I’ve always read that instruction very analytically and was confused. Do they mean one onion? Do they mean half an onion? Answer: one onion chopped in half and each half sliced, so that you get strings and not rings. If you’ve never wondered, then just don’t read the last sentence?! Too late, I’m guessing. Anyway, you’ll also need a bell pepper, thinly sliced. The recipe calls for a red pepper, and I despise red peppers, so I used yellow. Three cloves of garlic, thinly sliced and 1 tsp of ground cumin, 1 tsp of paprika and 1/8 tsp of cayenne (which hardly seemed worth it, so I doubled it). You’ll also need a 28oz can of plum tomatoes, about 5 eggs, some crumbled feta and chopped fresh cilantro. Oh! And salt and pepper, of course.

Anyway, heat a couple tbsp of olive oil in an oven-proof pan. Sauté your onions and sliced bell pepper over medium-low heat until they’re soft and browning. It takes awhile. We’re talking like 20 minutes. After that, add your sliced garlic and continue sautéing for a couple minutes and then add your spices. It becomes really nicely fragrant at this time and if it’s already noon and you haven’t eaten breakfast, hunger really kicks in around now. Only cook the spices for about a minute before adding your can of tomatoes. Season it all with some salt and pepper and then let it all thicken for about 10 minutes, before adding your crumbled feta.

After it’s thickened up and your feta has been added, crack your 5 eggs into the mixture, being careful not to break the yolk. Season again with some salt and pepper and then toss the whole thing into the oven to bake for about 10 minutes. Check your eggs often. If you prefer a runny yolk, pull it out earlier. It’s totally up to you. When it’s all done, sprinkle some cilantro over it all and cut it like a pie…or eat the whole thing yourself, I won’t judge.

Hassle level – like 3 out of 10. Only because it requires prep work for the cooking process to run smoothly.

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