Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Best Shakshuka (Sunny side eggs in Fresh Tomato Sauce)

When you think of Sunday brunch, what images conjure up in your mind? Pancakes, eggs and some kind of bread?? Pancakes are a large part of the American Sunday breakfast/brunch. The carb thing is like a blob that takes up more space then you anticipate, and you wobble around Sunday in a daze. No wander Sunday football  exists, so that men can just sit around in a euphoric carb bomb like Al Bundy with hand in pants.  If you want to try something lighter and more tasteful, then try the quintessential Middle Eastern breakfast, Shakshuka.

On the other side of the Atlantic, in much of the Middle East, Shakshuka, a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, onions, often spiced with cumin and traditionally served up in a cast iron pan is the breakfast of choice. I suppose they make do with their local, ripe tomatoes and  cage free eggs. No bread is needed for this dish, but you may just want to mop up the sauce with a pita (gluten free bread).


When I am feeling extra hungry I add some broad beans to the dish and a tickle of feta cheese. Try it, it will not disappoint and is so filling. My husband found this recipe online and modified it a bit. We garnished it with a side of spinach leaves, chummus, cherry tomatoes and baby grapes for a little punch.
Happy Husband Enjoying Sunday Brunch

Shakshuka (Sunny side eggs in Fresh Tomato Sauce)

Serves 5-6

Ingredients


1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, peeled and diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium green or red bell pepper, chopped
4 cups ripe diced tomatoes, or 2 cans (14 oz. each) diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon chili powder (mild)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper (or more to taste-- HOT!)
Pinch of sugar, to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
5-6 eggs
1/2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley (optional, for garnish)

Directions
  1. Heat olive oil in a deep, large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Saute onion for a few minutes until the onion begins to soften. Add garlic and continue to sauté till mixture is fragrant.Your nostrils wont let you down.
  2. Add the bell pepper, sauté for 5-7 minutes until softened.
  3. Add tomatoes and tomato paste to pan, stir till blended. Add spices and sugar, stir well, and allow mixture to simmer over medium heat for 5-7 minutes till it starts to reduce. At this point, you can taste the mixture and spice it according to your preferences. Add salt and pepper to taste, more sugar for a sweeter sauce.
  4. Crack the eggs, one at a time, directly over the tomato mixture, making sure to space them evenly over the sauce. I usually place 4-5 eggs around the outer edge and 1 in the center. The eggs will cook "over easy" style on top of the tomato sauce.
  5. Cover the pan. Allow mixture to simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked and the sauce has slightly reduced. Keep an eye on the skillet to make sure that the sauce doesn't reduce too much, which can lead to burning.
  6. Garnish with the chopped parsley, if desired and serve. 

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