I’ve read that on any given day, 50% of Americans don’t eat breakfast at home and the most popular breakfast source for that 50% is McDonalds. This week we’ll try to convince you to eat at home.
Shakshuka is a North African dish that has become popular in small cafés in Israel and Palestine. There are many variations, but all are cooked slowly and involve a lot of onions, sweet peppers and eggs. Preserved lemon is a great addition and feel free to use different herbs and spices. It’s great at lunch and dinner too.
• 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
• 3/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
• 2 large onions sliced about 1/4" thick
• 2 red bell peppers cut into 3/4" strips
• 2 yellow peppers cut into 3/4" strips
• 2 tbsp agava (use sugar if you must)
• 2 bay leaves
• 6 thyme sprigs, leaves picked and chopped
• 2 tbsp chopped parsley
• 2 tbsp chopped cilantro, plus a few sprigs to garnish
• 6 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
• 1 pinch saffron threads
• salt & black pepper
• 8 eggs
In a very large dry pan, roast the cumin seeds on high heat for two minutes. Add the oil and onions and sauté for five minutes (if you’d like, caramelize the onions as we taught you last week.) Add the sweet peppers, agave (or sugar) and herbs and continue cooking on high heat for 5 to 10 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, saffron, cayenne and some salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. While it is cooking add water as needed to obtain a pasta sauce consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning. It should be potent and flavorful. (You can prepare the mix up to this point, keep it in the refrigerator and use as needed.)
Remove the bay leaves, then divide the pepper mix among four frying pans or place in one large frying pan. Warm over medium heat, then make two gaps in the pepper mix in each pan and carefully break an egg into each gap. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cover the pans with lids. Cook over very low heat for 10 to 12 minutes or until the eggs are just set. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.
We'll be back next week with another wholesome recipe.