Monday, October 7, 2013


I've been happily embracing summer meats comfort food which is why shakshuka is so perfect this time of year.

Shakshuka for those of you unfamiliar with the wonderful deliciousness that is this Middle Eastern dish is basically a tomato and pepper stew topped with barely cooked eggs.  It's meant to be eaten (in my mind) family style, with everyone dipping chunks of baguette or wedges of pita into the stew (break those egg yolks!) and scooping it up in quick succession from pan to mouth.  It's flavorful, warm, and inviting, perfect for a brunch or a relaxed supper which is why I love it so much.  

Recipe from Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons harissa
2 teaspoons tomato paste
2 large red peppers, cut into ¼-inch (about 2 cups/300 grams total)
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
5 large, very ripe tomatoes, chopped (5 cups/ 800 grams in total); canned is also fine
4 large eggs + 4 egg yolks or 8 large eggs
½ cup/ 120 grams thick yogurt
Salt and pepper to taste
Aleppo pepper for sprinkling (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and add the harissa, tomato paste, peppers, garlic, cumin, and ¾ teaspoon salt.  Stir and cook over medium heat for about 8 minutes to allow the peppers to soften.  Add the tomatoes and bring to a gentle simmer, and cook for a further 10 minutes until you have quite a thick sauce.  Taste for seasoning. 

Make 8 little dips in the cause.  Gently break the eggs and carefully pour each into its own dip.  (Do the same with the yolks if you aren't using whole eggs for all the eggs.)  Use a fork to swirl the egg whites a little bit with the sauce, taking care not to break the yolks.  Simmer gently for 8 to 10 minutes, until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still runny (you can cover the pan with a lid if you wish to hasten the process).  Remove from the heat, leave for a couple of minutes to settle, then spoon into individual plate and serve with yogurt and a sprinkle of Aleppo pepper. 

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