Shakshuka. Or how to be more exotic for breakfast.
Remember when I told you a few weeks ago how vongole sound better in Italian? Well it turns out eggs also sounds better in foreign languages too. Why say baked eggs, when you can say:
I love the way that word sounds. I love saying it over and over again.
Try it. You’re feeling more exotic aren’t you? What I love more than how this dish sounds, is how this dish tastes! It’s basically a classic North African version of eggs baked in a sauce.
Almost every country in the Mediterranean has a variation of this sexy, little dish. In Italy, you break a few eggs over tomato sauce and top with some shaved parmigiano reggiano and call it Uova al Purgatorio. The Greeks make Kayiana in which you scramble your eggs in a tomato sauce base, served with “pasto”, a salt-cured and fat-preserved pork with some fried potatoes mixed in. And the Spanish Pisto Manchego take fried eggs which will sit over a base of bell peppers, tomatoes and zucchini all topped with manchego cheese.
Shakshuka is one of my favorite versions. I like the mix of Spanish Chorizo, Greek feta, and wilted greens (for that extra veggie kick) and roasted red peppers for a truly Mediterranean amalgamation of baked eggs. Here’s how:
Shakshuka – serves 2
2 Spanish chorizo sausage
1 handful or cup of baby spinach or chopped swiss chard
2 small garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup red pepper sauce* (recipe below)
2-3 oz. crumbled feta
pinch of red pepper flakes
pinch of paprika
Pre-heat your oven to 400 F. First, start by slicing your chorizo sausage and rendering it down in a hot pan. When the fat from the sausage has been released, that’s your cue to add a handful of spinach and chard and wilt the greens. Add crushed garlic cloves, a pinch of red pepper flakes and a cup of the red pepper sauce.
Divide the mixture between 2 individual sized baking dishes, or ramekins. Crack an egg carefully over each one and top with some crumbled feta. Bake for 12-15 minutes or to preferred level of egg doneness. When you remove from the oven sprinkle a pinch of paprika over each dish and serve with some toasted pita bread to break your yolks and mop up that sauce. Enjoy!
Red Pepper Sauce (adapted from Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar Cookbook)
This red pepper sauce can be made in advance and refrigerated for a week (but it’s too good to last that long). To make the sauce, you will need:
6 red peppers
4 cloves of garlic
425 F oven
40-45 minutes roasted until skin is blackened
Pre-heat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and roast peppers for 40-45 minutes, until blackened. You will want to turn the pepper half way during the cooking process. Also on your baking pan, you can make a small foil packet of garlic cloves, topped with olive oil and let that bake during the second half, after you have turned your peppers.
Remove roasted peppers from oven and place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let cool. The steam will help loosen the blackened skin from the peppers and make cleaning them easier. Once the peppers have cooled, peel the skins off the peppers and remove the stems and seeds. Place your cleaned peppers in a food processor with the softened garlic cloves (skins removed) and blend. Put in a mason jar and refrigerate until ready to use.