Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Meatless Mondays

I know it's Tuesday, but we are pretending like it is Monday around here. We try to go meatless on Mondays, but sometimes it happens on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.... (There is actually an international campaign that encourages people to not eat meat on Mondays to improve their health and the health of the planet.)

Tonight I made shakshuka. It's a dish of Tunisian origin that involves cooking eggs softly in a hot skillet of spicy tomato sauce – think ratatouille meets huevos rancheros. It's perfect for breakfast, or for dinner on a cold winter's night.

I first read about shakshuka on Smitten Kitchen a couple of years ago and have been regularly making it ever since. Tonight, I added an extra can of diced tomatoes (3 cans total) and then, before cooking the eggs, I scooped out enough of the spicy sauce to freeze for an easy dinner another night. You can make it as spicy (or mild) as you like. I used two Anaheim chiles and one jalapeno. I think next time, I'll use one more jalapeno, for a bit of added kick. It takes a few minutes to chop up the ingredients but it is a one-pan meal – all cooked in my trusty cast iron skillet.

It is finished with a sprinkling of feta cheese and parsley. I serve it up with whole wheat pita bread for sopping up the sauce.

So. good.


Shakshuka [Eggs Poached in Spicy Tomato Sauce]
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Serves 4

1/4 cup olive oil
5 Anaheim chiles or 3 jalapeƱos, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped (I was nervous and only used 2 Anaheims and 1 jalapeno)
1 small yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed then sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
   (I added an extra 14 oz. can, and then froze a portion)
Kosher salt, to taste
4 eggs
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
Warm pitas, for serving

Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add chiles and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, and paprika, and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is soft, about 2 more minutes.
Put tomatoes and their liquid into a medium bowl and crush with your hands. Add crushed tomatoes and their liquid to skillet along with 1/2 cup water, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Season sauce with salt.

Crack eggs over sauce so that eggs are evenly distributed across sauce’s surface. Cover skillet and cook until yolks are just set, about 5 minutes. Using a spoon, baste the whites of the eggs with tomato mixture, being careful not to disturb the yolk. Sprinkle shakshuka with feta and parsley and serve with pitas, for dipping.

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