Introduction: How to Make Shakshuka
Today I am going to show you how to make shakshuka.
When it comes to lazy weekend mornings, or you want to pick something to make for dinner when you're in a serious rush, Shakshuka is an ideal choice. What is so good about it? It has everything one would expect from a decent Sunday brunch: it has proteins, veggies, it’s absolutely easy and relatively quick to make (I mean obviously longer than scrambled eggs, but still under half an hour), no special ingredients needed, you can get most of the ingredients in the pantry, it’s packed with flavors and it is so versatile. For me, the perfect egg dish. All made in one pan. It originates from the Middle – East, but I also came across a similar recipe in a Moroccan cookbook. Basically we’re talking about poached eggs sitting in spicy tomato sauce (and anything you add). And this is where versatility comes into the picture. This time I made it with chickpeas, red pepper, baby spinach and feta. Feel free to skip anything you don’t like, and use your imagination: add baked beans, cooked lentils, herbs, mushrooms, courgettes, eggplants – just to give you a few options. For an extra crunchiness I also made garlic and ginger crisps to top the dish off. It adds so much flavor! Let's get started!
Step 1: You’ll Need
For the garlic and ginger crisp:
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 cm piece of ginger
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
For the shakshuka:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 mid-sized onion
- 1 pepper (I was planning to use bell pepper, but it disappeared from the fridge)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon cayenne
- 1 can chickpeas (240 g drained weight)
- 2 cans (400 g each) chopped tomatoes (during the summer I ‘d prefer to use fresh tomatoes but in the winter though you can get them here, they lack flavors)
- 2 teaspoons caster sugar
- 1-2 handful baby spinach
- 6 eggs
- feta (about 100 g, but feel free to add more
- salt and pepper to taste
- chopping board
- salad spinner
- skillet (I used a 28 cm diameter non -stick skillet, but you may opt for a stainless steel or a cast iron)
Step 2: Garlic and Ginger Crisps:
Peel garlic and ginger. As for the ginger, the most effective way is to scrape the skin off with a spoon.
Slice them as thin as you can (with a sharp knife or a mandoline). Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the skillet and dump the sliced ginger and garlic into the skillet (do NOT preheat the oil, this way it is less likely to get burnt) and fry on medium heat - turning occasionally - until starts to get brown around the edges. Pay utmost attention as it gets burnt (and then bitter) easily.
Remove them from the skillet and set aside.
Step 3: Prepping Onion and Garlic
Peel and slice the onion, no need to chop it finely, cutting semicircles is fine.
Peel and chop 3 cloves of garlic.
Step 4: Prepping Pepper, Chickpeas
First remove stem and seeds and half it lengthwise, then cut it into slices 3-4 mm thick slices.
As for chickpeas, open the can, and using a colander, rinse chickpeas and let excess water drip off.
Step 5: Prepping Baby Spinach
Wash spinach thoroughly, use a salad spinner to dry it and remove thick stems.
I guess all this could be done in a shorter time than it took me to write it and now actual cooking can start.
Step 6: Let's Get Cooking!
Add another 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the skillet (it is no need to wash it after making the ginger and garlic crisps). Add the onion and cook on its own for about 3-5 minutes until it starts to soften.
Add red pepper, salt, freshly ground pepper and keep on cooking for another 3-5 minutes until the onion slices are translucent. Mix occasionally. Add the garlic.
Add the spices (smoked paprika, cayenne, cumin) into the skillet, stir to combine.
Add the chicpeas and cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes until they get a light color.
Step 9: Tomatoes
Dump in both cans of tomatoes stir and and 2 teaspoons of sugar. The dish won't be sweet, sugar's only there to round off the acidity of tomatoes. Simmer for 5 minutes covered with a lid, then remove the lid and simmer for ten more minutes in order to get a thich sauce. Getting a thick sauce is kind of essential we need it to support the eggs when getting poached. So take your time, let the excess fluid evaporate.
Step 10: Cut Your Cheese
While the dish is cooking, cut the cheese into cubes (any crumbly or soft cheese you like is OK).
Reduce the heat to low, make wells into the tomato sauce with a spoon and crack one egg into each well.
Step 12: Here Comes the Spinach
Add the spinach on top, cover the skillet and cook on medium heat until 5-8 minutes. Cooking time depens on how you like the eggs (I like when the yolk is still runny), so keep an eye on it.
Step 13: Done
That's it, basically. Sprinkle with feta and the garlic and ginger crisps add some salt and black pepper on top, and serve with bread. Enjoy!
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