Sorry for the sexual innuendo but I’ve been dying to use this pun for way too long. Shakshuka is a dish that I get really excited about because it’s Instagram pretty but also Jess accessible. This means that I can prepare this dish, not set off the smoke alarm and/or have a stress-related aneurysm, and it will come out well – so you can definitely make it too. It’s quick and easy to make, it’s delicious and relatively healthy, so I’m not sure what more you could ask for. Dreams coming true in just one large skillet.

Shakshuka (also spelled shakshouka) is a traditionally Arabic dish, originating in North African countries like Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. Shakshuka translates to “mixture” from Arabic. Even though eggs are the main ingredient in this dish and it’s typically a breakfast food, it makes for a filling dinner and perfect lunch the following day. The only thing I wouldn’t suggest is eating shakshuka and then attempting a spin class because you might yack up the shak’. And while you can easily find this beautiful egg dish at an overpriced, photogenic brunch hotspot in NYC, I can just as easily make it in my humble kitchen in Iggy –  our “vintage” lemon yellow countertops from 1975 photograph really well, too.

There are just five main ingredients to this dish: red bell pepper, onion, a can of whole plum tomatoes, eggs and feta cheese. The onion and bell pepper go into a large skillet to soften, followed by the coarsely chopped tomatoes. Of course, you can’t leave out the garlic and spices – cumin, paprika, cayenne. In my humble opinion, the more garlic and spice the better. This mixture is left to simmer for a while (the longer the better), and then the crumbled feta is incorporated (my fave). Here comes the fun part: you have to make little nests to crack your eggs into. I know. It’s thrilling. After five or six eggs get nestled, the skillet goes into the oven to bake and set the eggs – this shouldn’t take more than ten minutes. When it’s done, simply sprinkle with cilantro. Unless you have that issue where you think cilantro tastes like dish soap. In that case, no cilantro for you.

*DO NOT FORGET THE NAAN! In general don’t forget it, and then more specifically don’t forget that it’s in the oven toasting with its olive oil and za’atar topping. While not essential to the dish, naan just makes everything better.

I post a Snapchat every time we eat shakshuka which is probably very obnoxious but here is what my dinner often looks like:

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I hope you give it a try!

-Jess

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