Recipe: How to Make the Perfect Shakshuka
Photo: Jenn Kosar/Unsplash.
This beautiful brunch (or light dinner!) of poached eggs in an aromatic sauce is all the rage.
¼ cup/60 ml olive oil
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
½ tsp coriander seeds, lightly crushed with a mortar and pestle or the back of a knife
½ tsp cumin seeds, lightly crushed with a mortar and pestle or the back of a knife
3 bell peppers in a variety of colors, seeded, deribbed, and cut into ½-in/12-mm strips
2 tsp light brown sugar
1 bay leaf
2 cups/530 g canned whole peeled tomatoes and their juice
2 tsp harissa paste or 1 tsp red pepper flakes (see Cook’s Note below)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup/10 g chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
4 room-temperature eggs
2 oz/55 g crumbled feta cheese
Warm slices of baguette or pita wedges for serving
1. Heat the oil in a 12-in/30.5-cm heavy skillet over high heat. When it’s shimmering hot, add the onion and sauté until soft and just beginning to char, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, coriander, and cumin and sauté until the mixture is quite fragrant, about 1 minute more. Stir in the bell peppers and sauté until they begin to soften and brown, about 5 minutes. Add the sugar and bay leaf and cook until the bell peppers are evenly charred and tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
2. Add the tomatoes, ½ cup/120 ml water, harissa, a few big pinches of salt, and a small pinch of black pepper and bring to a simmer, using a wooden spoon to break up the tomatoes. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan with a lid or a sheet of aluminum foil crimped tightly around the edges. Stew the mixture until the bell peppers are as tender as you’d like, 15 to 25 minutes. I prefer them to be tender but still firm to the bite, but you may like them very tender, as with roasted peppers. Add a few tbsp of water, as needed, to keep the mixture loose and saucy.
3. Stir in the parsley. Taste and add more salt and black pepper as needed. Make four shallow wells in the sauce and crack an egg into each. Adjust the heat to bring the sauce back to a low simmer, cover, and cook until the egg whites are just set and the yolks are still runny, 6 to 8 minutes, or longer if you prefer fully cooked yolks.
4. Sprinkle on the cheese and garnish with parsley. Dish up the shakshuka at the table, with warm baguette slices for dipping.
To drink: Moroccan mint tea
Egg tip: The eggs will continue to cook off the heat, so if you want liquid yolks, which I recommend, be sure to pull the pan from the burner when the eggs are still a little jiggly.
Cook’s note: Harissa paste is a fragrant and spicy North African chile paste that can be found at specialty food stores and many supermarkets.
Excerpted from Eggs on Top: Recipes Elevated by an Egg. Published by Chronicle Books. Copyright © 2014 by Andrea Slonecker. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of Chronicle Books.