19.1.11

Shakshouka

Shakshouka has got to be one of the easiest, cheapest to make, most satisfying and tasty meals out there. It's a North African dish that has become extremely popular in Israel, where I first tried it. It is perfect food. Maybe make a chopped salad, get some nice pita bread, and done. Piquant but not too spicy, creamy from the egg without being cloying, savory...I am in love with Shakshouka.
Now, you could make countless versions of this. It is eggs simmered in tomato sauce. However, I am partial to the way it was introduced to me. With matboucha. Matboucha is Arabic for "cooked salad". It's a tomato, pepper, garlic sauce that is generally served cold and with everything. And it is delicious with everything. I have an Israeli friend whose family comes from Morocco. I went to both her house and her grandmother's house and ate matboucha with my lunch many a happy afternoon. It is so good on a plate with some leftover chicken, rice, hummus and Israeli green olives.   My recipe for matboucha, and subsequently, shakshouka, may not be 100% authentic, as it's sort of a combination of lots of recipes that I've seen in the past few years.   I can absolutely attest to it, however,  as I make it quite often. When I was couchsurfing, this was a fabulous meal to make for my hosts because many people haven't tried it, but I've never met anybody who wouldn't eat it again! 


Shakshouka


Ingredients
 1 large onion, diced
4-6 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 chile pepper (as always, use less if you want it less spicy, and try it first!), diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 28 oz can or box of chopped tomatoes
4 eggs
Olive oil

Preparation
  Make the matboucha: gently heat olive oil in a large pan. Add the onions and garlic and let sweat. Don't fry them! Just let them get soft and aromatic. Add all of the peppers, and then the spices.  Let it cook down for a bit, and then add the tomatoes. Give it a stir, let it cook gently. It should still have a fresh taste to it. (You should want to eat it cold or hot!) Perhaps add some water (not too much) and let that cook. Season with salt and pepper. There will be a slight sheen on the top- that's okay.
 Now, you have two options. You can take that off the stove, let it cool, and put in a tupperware container to eat as a condiment. Or you can continue on and make shakshouka:
 
Crack four eggs in the pan, evenly spaced out. Cover the pan and simmer. I usually "baste" the egg whites with the matboucha .When the whites are fully set, your shakshouka is ready. Season the eggs. Eat immediately. I suggest some pita bread to sop up the sauce. If you are making this recipe, I am jealous of you. Enjoy.

2 comments:

  1. I LOVE shakshoukah and yours looks really lovely Gabby! It is too bad that we never made it on kibbutz. It is one of my favourite breakfasts in the Middle East! Good one, mir :)

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  2. I made this the other night for Josh and I for dinner and it was amazing. I didn't have canned tomatoes so I subbed in spaghetti sauce, very Semi Homemade despite my distaste for Sandra Lee.

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