Laissez Faire

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Diary of an Inconsistent Cook #15: Shakshuka (Kid Friendly Eggs Poached in Tomatoes)

Last week, I was inspired by a blog that I saw that had a photo of a gorgeous pan of Shakshuka (though I commented on it I can’t find it).   I’ve made this dish before for my daughter who is a lover of the tomato and the egg; together it’s magic.    Shakshuka is simply eggs poached in tomatoes.     Now, my step-father puts ketchup on his scrambled eggs and I never got the appeal.  But Shakshuka I get.      It seems like my whole family has a love affair with ketchup and it can sneak up on you.  “Oh, I guess I’ll put a little ketchup in that to zing it up.”     Don’t get me wrong I also have a fondness for the Sriracha and others of it’s ilk.

Ingredients I used, except the eggs.

Ingredients I used:  Frozen chopped green pepper, 28oz can whole tomatoes, paprika, cumin, garlic, onion, salt/pepper, and dried anaheim pepper (not shown), eggs (not shown).

I don’t really use a recipe for this (what else is new).    I rummage in my pantry and cabinets and freezer to see what is available and use what I have.     If you need a recipe you can’t go wrong with Smitten Kitchen’s version.  I’ve used recipes from there for five years and have rarely been disappointed.

I always have whole cumin on hand because it holds it’s flavor indefinitely.  I also had some frozen green pepper, but saddly no red.   Onion, eggs, 28oz can of whole peeled tomatoes, paprika, garlic, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper.  Simple.

Saute up!

Saute up!

I like onions,you know, but you can also dice them smaller.  Saute it until it is done.  I like a little bit of brown on my onion, but you can do it how you like it.

Crush fragrant cumin seeds or use that bland, preground stuff.

Crush fragrant cumin seeds or use that bland, pre-ground stuff.

I love my mortar and pestle for just this sort of thing.  I have a spice grinder for larger tasks, but this is really easy to use and easy to clean.  It is also satisfying.

Put the kids to work squeezing the life out of the tomatoes.

Put the kids to work squeezing the life out of the tomatoes.

The kids can help here.  Let them squash the tomatoes into oblivion.  Though, a word of warning, stand back.  The tomatoes can get feisty and spit back.   For about three minutes you will have some quiet so your saute won’t burn.

Toss it all into the pan.

Toss it all into the pan.

Add the cumin, salt, pepper, paprika, and whatever other spice pepper powder you have chosen.  I used Anaheim because it is sweet, but not hot.      I found this batch of tomatoes to be a little bitter so I added in a teaspoon of sugar to balance it.   I cook it until that raw tomato taste is gone and it starts to smell good.  You’ll know it when you smell it.

Make holes and drop in the eggs.

Make holes and drop in the eggs.

Use a spoon to make some holes in the tomato base and put in as many eggs as you want.  I did two for  each kid and one for me, but you can do more.      If you are feeling lucky break those eggs directly into the sauce.    Do it.   Be daring!    If not, break them into a tea cup or bowl, fish out the shells you got in there, then transfer to the sauce.  Easy.    Cover them so they can steam, I find that this is very important.

Cook until it is how you like your eggs.   I like mine with a soft yolk but firm white.

Cook until it is how you like your eggs. I like mine with a soft yolk but firm white.

Doesn’t that look wonderful?   The eggs were cooked just how I like them.   Stif whites and soft yolk.  One egg was being stubborn so I drowned it with some of the sauce.

Love at first bite.

Love at first bite.

We are purists and like it straight up.  I made some fresh roti (see my post and video here) to go with it.    Unfortunately, the kids distracted me and my egg ended up sitting too long and the yolk was no longer beautifully runny.  It was still soft and bright golden though, not hard and dry.

I love it when we have leftovers after we eat all the eggs because then I usually add in hamburger and shell pasta (or macaroni) and create a Shakshuka American Chop Suey, or I use it as a vegetable soup base, or a cook it with pork for a lovely Pork Shakshuka that goes very nice with mashed potatoes.

How do you shake your Shakshuka?   Comment and let me know!

Want more inspiration, maybe even from people who know what they are doing?   Try these blogs on for size:

Two Kitchens One Lifestyle: Traditional Israeli Shakshuka
I Accidentally At The Whole Thing:  Shakshuka with Eggplant
135Journals: Chef Jacobs’ Shakshuka
BintMinSaudi:  Shakshuka
Easy and Veggie:  Shakshuka

3 comments on “Diary of an Inconsistent Cook #15: Shakshuka (Kid Friendly Eggs Poached in Tomatoes)

  1. WordMothers
    February 13, 2015

    It would never occur to me to do this and my family would love it! Will give it a shot for Sunday brunch tomorrow. Thanks! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Diary of an Inconsistent Cook #16: Shakshuka Pork | Laissez Faire

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This entry was posted on February 13, 2015 by in cooking, dinner, entree, kids and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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