Specifically, I’m talking post-Israel depression. They warned us all, and the struggle is real. What the fuck am I talking about? Clearly I just got back from a trip to Israel, people. Try to keep up.
Since I can’t go back, and I’m stuck in Portland where it won’t stop raining all over my goddamn life, I’m left to conjure up lost happiness by stuffing my face. What better place to start than breakfast!?
Enter, shakshuka. Tomatoey, peppery, eggy, scoop-up-with-bready: you’re gonna love it. This recipe is based on a traditional Israeli dish, with a few tweaks. So if you’re a purist, you’ve been reading the wrong blog. But you probably already knew that. Oh, and did I mention it serves one? I don’t like people in my space in that terrible time slot between coffee and the rest of the day. But if you prefer company in the morning, (ew) you can double or triple this recipe easily.
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 Serrano pepper, sliced
¼ of a red onion
¼ tsp cumin (seeds or powder)
¼ tsp paprika
Crusty bread for dunking
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Cilantro to garnish
Honey to taste (optional)
Crank up your oven to 475° and quarter your onion. Dump the tomatoes into a baking dish that’s large enough for them to have plenty of room to brown. If your pan is too crowded (which would happen if you double or triple the recipe) just use a second pan, obviously. Toss in your onion pieces with two whole cloves of garlic and coat all the veggies with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Oh, and some crushed red pepper flakes if you like extra heat. Roast ‘em for about 15 minutes or until they are nice and caramelized.
Drink coffee for those 15 minutes. Remove your veggies and blend them in a mini-chop or food processor. Don’t go all the way smooth; you want them to retain a little texture. Next, find an adorable, mini, cast-iron pan. Don’t have one? Just use the smallest pan you have and heat it to medium-high. Coat the bottom of the pan with plenty of olive oil and drop in ½ of your Serrano pepper. I like to save the other half to add raw on top when it’s all finished. If you don’t like any spice then you can just dice up a little sweet pepper instead. But seriously, why would you want to?
In with the Serrano pepper, toss in your cumin seeds (ground cumin is fine too) and sweet paprika. When the peppers soften, pour in your blended tomato mixture and cook for an additional minute. This is the point where you can drizzle in some honey to taste. The traditional shakshuka has a little sweetness to it, but I like mine without the added sugar. But what the fuck do I know? Add the honey. Live your dreams.
Then, make a well in the middle of the pan, crack in your 2 eggs, cover, and turn the heat down to medium. The eggs only take a few minutes to cook if you like them runny. If you’re having a hard time telling when they are ready, shake the pan. If the whites are still loose, give it another minute or two and test them again. When they are done, they will set in the sauce and won’t look so jiggley — which is indeed the technical term.
Voilà! Your shakshuka is ready to be devoured. Top with the rest of your sliced Serrano and some chopped cilantro. Scoop up with that crusty bread*.
* I burnt off all my taste buds in the eating of this shakshuka.
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 2 eggs
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 Serrano pepper, sliced
- ¼ of a red onion
- ¼ tsp cumin (seeds or powder)
- ¼ tsp paprika
- Crusty bread for dunking
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Cilantro to garnish
- Honey to taste (optional)
- Heat oven to 475°
- Dump the tomatoes, onion, and garlic into a baking dish and coat with olive oil, salt, and pepper Add a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes if you like extra heat
- Roast for about 15 minutes or until they are nicely caramelized
- Remove your veggies and roughly blend them in a mini-chop or food processor
- Heat the smallest pan you have to medium-high
- Coat the bottom of the pan with plenty of olive oil and drop in ½ of your Serrano pepper, saving the other half for garnish
- Toss in your cumin seeds (ground cumin is fine too) and sweet paprika
- When the peppers soften, pour in your blended tomato mixture and cook for an additional minute
- Drizzle in some honey to taste (start with ½ tsp)
- Make a well in the middle of the pan, crack in your 2 eggs, cover, and turn the heat down to medium
- Cook for 2-5 minutes, or until the whites just set
- Garnish with the rest of the Serrano and chopped cilantro
- Scoop up with crusty bread