Scrumptiously Scott: Shakshuka

This post was written by Hatchet food columnist Scott Figatner.

Shakshuka. Photo by Jordan Emont | Assistant Photo Editor

When we think of breakfast, we usually don’t imagine a dish of tomatoes, peppers and onions slowly simmered with spices and gently poached fresh eggs. Yet, shakshuka is a breakfast staple in the Maghrebian regions of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Morocco and Israel. In Tamazight, shakshouka means “a mixture.” When my roommate tried the dish in Israel, he was overcome by the intensity of the spices and said it was the best breakfast he had ever had. The good news is that shakshuka is much easier to make than it is to say.

Ingredients:

• 2 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 yellow onion, diced
• 4 medium red bell peppers, diced
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
• 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes with juices
• 1 tablespoons smoked paprika or 4 teaspoons of regular paprika
• Salt, turmeric, cumin, fresh black pepper and Ancho Chili powder to taste
• 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
• 4 large eggs
• Pita bread or baguette, for serving

Directions:

Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until just softened, about 2 minutes. Add the red bell peppers, salt and pepper. Stir in tomato paste and garlic and cook for another minute. Add tomatoes and season with more salt, cumin, turmeric, paprika and ancho chili powder.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until thick and concentrated, stirring occasionally. For this recipe, you will have extra sauce that you can save for another meal.

Stir in half of the parsley and break the eggs over the tomatoes. Cover with a lid and continue to cook for about seven to eight minutes until the eggs are set. Sprinkle the remaining parsley and serve immediately with pita bread or baguette. Serve in the pan you cooked it in.

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